Detroit Tigers: 5 offseason tasks that need to be accomplished
By Andy Patton
Making the Rule 5 Draft a Success
The Detroit Tigers have not had a ton of success in the rule 5 draft. Chris Shelton was their first overall pick in 2003, and he was solid for two seasons. That same year the Tigers look Lino Urdaneta, and look how that turned out.
Otherwise, most of the players they have picked have not worked out. Daniel Stumpf looked like a solid LOOGY his first season, but blew up this past year and now looks like a fringey bullpen piece going forward.
Victor Reyes has had a rough go of things this season for the Tigers, and he looks ticketed for AAA next season. His ceiling, in my opinion, is of an athletic fourth outfielder – and even then I’m not sure he can reach that potential.
The Tigers will once again have a top five pick in the rule 5 draft. While rule 5 picks rarely work out, it would be really nice if Detroit could add a future bullpen piece next season. Their bullpen has continued to be an issue, and finding a hard-throwing youngster who some team left off their 40-man is a solid risk for this Tigers team to take. Relievers are very common rule 5 selections, as they don’t have to be used all that often and therefore don’t take up as much ‘room’ as a guy like Reyes.
Teams have not begun to set their 40-man rosters, so it’s not feasible to predict which players will be available for Detroit to pick from. However, here are a few recent rule 5 relievers that teams have successfully drafted and retained:
Dylan Covey (CWS) Joe Biagini (TOR) Tommy Kahnle (COL) Hector Rondon (CHC) and Joakim Soria (KCR). Saying the Tigers will find the next Soria or Rondon is far-fetched, but there is talent to be had out there. Using their Rule 5 pick on a hard-throwing reliever could pay dividends for Detroit in the long-run.
It should be another busy offseason for Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila. Rebuilding is not easy, and this team is likely in for another rough 2019 season. However, if they are able to take small steps forward this winter, it could go a long way toward making the return to glory that much sooner.