With roughly two weeks remaining until Opening Day, should the Detroit Tigers be done adding free agents?
Earlier this week, Jon Morosi of MLB Network tweeted this quote from Detroit Tigers General Manager Al Avila:
The Detroit Tigers might be done signing free agents. Fine. But why say that?
Sure, the Tigers were never likely to be players for some of the biggest free agents this offseason. Big names like Eric Hosmer, Yu Darvish, and Jake Arrieta don’t make sense for a team trying to shed payroll and rebuild.
They were even more active in the minor league free agent market, bringing in a whole host of fresh faces to compete for spots in spring training. There’s nothing wrong with that, either. Competition is healthy and if some of those guys stick with the big club, that’s great.
Still, the Tigers shouldn’t be done. No one should ever be done, especially when you’re trying to rebuild, as Detroit is.
The Case Against “Being Done”
A perfect example is former Tiger J.D. Martinez. Martinez was released by the Houston Astros about a week before the start of the 2014 season. Detroit scooped him up a few days later, he spent a couple weeks in Toledo, was quickly called up, and made the All-Star team the following year.
Targeting one of the big names that are available still doesn’t make sense because it could block some of the youngsters from getting playing time. Where continuing to add could make sense is the bullpen. There are a lot of guys battling for spots, but as Andy Patton pointed out, what could it hurt bringing in someone who was just released like Tony Zych?
Signing Zych, or someone similar, makes perfect sense, especially since the cost wouldn’t be very high. He has the talent to help out the bullpen, but if he’s ineffective, you can just release him again. Getting a closer look at someone with an arm and numbers like that never seems like a bad idea to me.
The Detroit Tigers don’t necessarily need to add anyone before Opening Day but should keep an open mind. Every team should always be looking to add talent, especially if you’re coming off of the worst record in baseball. You never know when you might find the next J.D. Martinez.