Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers offseason wrap-up

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ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 12: Mike Fiers #54 of the Houston Astros throws in the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 12, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 12: Mike Fiers #54 of the Houston Astros throws in the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 12, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images) /
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The Detroit Tigers are completing the first offseason of their new rebuilding phase. Here is a quick wrap-up of the moves that were made.

The Detroit Tigers, like most of the MLB, did not have a very eventful offseason. After committing to a rebuild during the 2017 season, the team only made a handful of moves over the winter. Most of the moves that were made were small, short-term fixes. The future of this team is down on the farm, so for now fans get to watch holes get plugged by past-their-prime veterans while the team’s future develops down in West Michican, Erie, Toledo, and so on.

Here is a quick recap of the offseason moves that did occur:

Trades

12/13/17 – The Tigers traded second baseman Ian Kinsler to the Angels in exchange for RHP Wilkel Hernandez and OF Troy Montgomery.

Major League Signings

12/5/17 – The Tigers sign center fielder Leonys Martin to a one-year contract.

12/8/17 – The Tigers sign right-handed pitcher Mike Fiers to a one-year contract.

2/23/17 – The Tigers sign left-handed pitcher Francisco Liriano to a one-year contract.

Notable Minor League Signings

Jim Adduci, Alexi Amarista, Ryan Carpenter, Louis Coleman, Edwin Espinal, Niko Goodrum, Pete Kozma, Derek Norris, Brayan Pena, Ronny Rodriguez, James Russell, Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Other Additions

Drafted Victor Reyes in the Rule 5 Draft.

Claimed relief pitcher Johnny Barbato off waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Other Subtractions

Andrew Romine was claimed off waivers by the Seattle Mariners.

Bruce Rondon signed a minor league deal with the Chicago White Sox.

Anibal Sanchez signed a contract with the Atlanta Braves.

Jairo Labourt was DFA’d.

Overall Thoughts

The biggest move of the offseason was Detroit’s expected trade of veteran second baseman Ian Kinsler. Kinsler’s age and contract did not fit the direction the team was going in, and the Tigers made it clear he was on the market. GM Al Avila eventually shipped Kinsler to Los Angeles in exchange for two fringe prospects in Hernandez and Montgomery.

Hernandez is a young, unproven right-hander with potential while Montgomery is an outfielder who likely won’t be much more than a fourth or fifth OF, but is fairly close to reaching that potential.

Additionally, the Detroit Tigers added three veterans on one-year deals. Martin will be a stopgap in center field while youngsters like JaCoby Jones, Daz Cameron, Derek Hill, Mike Gerber and Cam Gibson develop in the minors. The team hopes that one of them, likely Jones, can take over in the near future.

Likewise, Fiers and Liriano are temporary stopgaps while Detroit’s pitching-heavy farm system continues to develop. Beau Burrows, Alex Faedo, Matt Manning, Franklin Perez and Kyle Funkhouser are the future of Detroit’s starting rotation, but all of them need more time in the minors. While Michael Fulmer leads the rotation now, guys like Fiers and Liriano were brought in to eat up innings while the young guns continue to grow.

Next: Tigers approaching career milestones

It’s hard to pass judgement on the offseason moves yet, as the team is building toward the future. Admittedly the Martin and Fiers signings look bad in retrospect, considering how affordable players like Mike Moustakas and Lance Lynn ended up.

We’d love your input. Please go to our twitter account and give the Detroit Tigers an offseason grade! We welcome discussion in the comments as well.

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