The Detroit Tigers will need some veteran presences on their 2020 roster, so here are four Tigers’ alumni that they should consider for a 2020 reunion.
The Detroit Tigers are deep in a long and slow rebuild and will need players to fill some roster spots and help tutor the younger prospects. Here are some players that have played for Detroit in the past, and would make great fits on the team in 2020.
Rick Porcello posted one of the worst ERAs in 2019. There is a reason to hope that he rebounds in 2020, though. This season his ERA was a disastrous 5.52, but when Sandy Leon was his catcher, his ERA was a more respectable 4.44, and his on-base percentage was 81 points lower than when Christian Vazquez caught him.
Porcello has been a consistent presence on the mound in the American League over the last 10 seasons and is the only pitcher to throw more than 150 innings in each season. With the uncertainty of when Michael Fulmer will return and a possible Matthew Boyd trade, having Porcello take the ball 30+ times would allow Detroit to not rush any of their top pitching prospects.
After losing two Seasons to Tommy John Surgery, Drew Smyly made it back to the majors this season. He struggled with consistency early on in the season, which is not shocking after a long layoff. He pitched a total of 114 innings in the majors between Texas and Philadelphia and started three games in Triple-A for Milwaukee.
Smyly struggled while in Texas to start the 2019 season, but turned things around as a member of the Phillies after they picked him up in late July. If his command takes another step forward next season, he could get closer to the pitcher that struck out 8 in 4.2 innings in the World Baseball Classic against Venezuela.
A fan favorite during his time in Detroit, Curtis Granderson spent the 2019 season in Miami. He played in 138 games but started just 68 times. Granderson turns 39 years old ten days before the opening day of the 2020 season but has expressed that he wants to continue playing.
His bat isn’t what it used to be, but he brings a lot to the team as a clubhouse leader and teacher to the younger players, which Detroit should have in abundance in 2020. This kind of leadership is much needed on a rebuilding team.
Signing Alex Avila would provide veteran leadership to Jake Rogers and Grayson Greiner and for the young pitchers that are expected to debut in 2020. Avila brought more value at the plate than Rogers and Greiner in 2019 and would ease the pressure on them to perform with their bats right away.
Detroit will want a guy like Avila around if they hope to develop their young pitchers and catchers properly. He has plenty of experience, including valuable post-season experience, and should definitely be in the conversation for 2020.
The Detroit Tigers will have plenty of decisions to make regarding the 2020 season. Which of these alumni looks the most appealing to you? Who else do you think Detroit should consider signing during the offseason?