The most accomplished offensive player on this list, longtime Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer is set to hit free agency at age 32. Mercer slashed a respectable .251/.315/.381 last year, although age regression may be starting to take its toll. He had a 7.3% walk rate and a 20.0% strikeout rate, both worse than he had in 2017. Additionally, he only hit six home runs, his lowest total since 2015.
Still, Mercer has a ton of experience at shortstop and still has enough life in his bat to be a consistent regular for another year or two. He is not the defensive caliber player that either Iggy or Hech are, but he has always held his own with the glove – posting roughly league average defense for his career.
Prior to 2018, Mercer had hit 11 or more home runs in three of the last four seasons. That may not seem like much, but power is not something the Tigers have had from a shortstop in a while and having someone who can leave the yard might be kind of fun.
Mercer will almost certainly command the most money of the three, but a lack of available jobs could bring him into Detroit’s price range. His experience would also make him the most appealing trade candidate as well – provided he hits well for Detroit in the first half.
The Detroit Tigers are no longer the big spending team they once were. However, there is plenty of talent to be had in the bargain bin this offseason.
If Detroit plays their cards right, they can find some of that talent and turn it into more prospects to help lead this team back into the playoffs in the early 2020’s.