The Detroit Tigers have very specific needs from a free agent in 2020 to help progress their rebuild. Here’s what they need to look for.
The Detroit Tigers are coming off of their worst season in over a decade and are at the start of a rebuild. With these things in mind, Detroit will have vastly different needs out of a free agent than most other teams.
Typically, teams will want a free agent that can help them win a championship, whether that means in the coming year, or sometime in the near future. Barring some kind of divine intervention, the Detroit Tigers won’t be competitive in the foreseeable future, so here’s what they should be looking for out of a free agent.
While no one likes to be thought of as a placeholder, this is really what Detroit needs the most at the moment. They have a lot of young talent in the organization and they need players who can eat up innings while the young players develop and make their way up to the big leagues.
It’s important that Detroit doesn’t spend too much money on these players. The Austin Romine signing is a good example of a cheap placeholder. Romine signed for one year and four million dollars, a short and cheap contract that allows Detroit to have a solid option at catcher.
Experience and mentorship are very important when it comes to developing young players. The only players currently on the roster who have any notable experience are Miguel Cabrera, Matthew Boyd, and Jordan Zimmermann. Detroit will likely have a large number of rookies called up this year, and having experienced players around to mentor them could definitely help accelerate their progress.
Romine was likely brought in for this exact reason. Detroit hopes Jake Rogers will be the catcher of the future, but his performance during his time in the MLB in 2019 was not stellar. Romine will be tasked to helping Rogers develop his game behind the plate and at the plate.
Positive Role Models
Detroit is going to lose a lot of games in 2020, and players joining the team need to be able to accept this with a positive attitude. It is easy to get discouraged and lose focus during a long losing season, which is why it is important for Detroit to find players who will not let losing get to them.
The team, and especially the younger players, need to stay focused on the end goal, which is improving for the future. Finding veteran players who can weather the adversity and set a positive example for young players will be important moving forward.
It will be interesting what the Detroit Tigers decide to do over the remainder of the offseason. Expect to see at least a few more free agents that fit these standards to find a home in the motor city for 2020.