Detroit Tigers: 1984-1988
Evans was primarily a third baseman in his career, but he spent almost all of his Tigers career either at first base or as the designated hitter. While he didn’t make an All-Star game in his five seasons in the Motor City, he did finish in the top-15 in MVP voting twice, and blasted 40 home runs in 1985.
Evans signed with the Tigers in December of 1983. He was somewhat of a utility player in 1984, playing 47 games at first base, 19 at third and 62 at designated hitter. It was his worst year with the Tigers, but he still mustered 16 home runs and a solid .353 OBP. He hit well in the ALCS against the Royals, although his 1-for-15 performance in the World Series was less than ideal.
Still, Evans more than redeemed himself in 1985, blasting 40 home runs with 94 RBI, a 138 OPS+ and a solid .356 OBP. He finished 14th in MVP voting, likely because his .248 batting average was sub-par. This was before OBP was more widely recognized, which may have helped Evans get more recognition in his career – he has a career .248 BA but a .361 OBP.
Evans was solid in 1986, hitting 29 home runs with a 116 OPS+. He was really strong in 1987, hitting 34 home runs and posting a .257/.379/.501 slash line with more walks (100) than strikeouts (84). He finished 12th in MVP voting.
Age started catching up to Evans in his age 41 season, as he only hit .208 with 22 home runs in 1988. That would prove to be his final season in the Motor City. He spent one more season back with the Braves before hanging them up. In his 21-year-career, Evans finished with 414 home runs, 2,223 hits, 1,605 walks (12th all-time) and a 58.8 bWAR. He lasted one year on the ballot, with just 1.7% of the vote.