Drawing conclusions from the Detroit Tigers 2022 roster exercise
The roster looks more fun, compared to what we’ve seen as fans lately. But it doesn’t look like a team that is going to have the strongest claim to bringing home the division title, either.
There’s been an idea among some people that the Tigers aren’t going to compete in 2021 and their top prospects are still another year out, so there’s really no reason to try too hard.
After all, losing just means another nice draft spot. Their abysmal 2020 season netted them the No. 3 overall pick in next year’s draft. That’s just another chance to get a highly regarded prospect to plug into the system and have ready to go down the line.
The problem with this line of thinking is that a team is not going to be able to go out and fill all of its spots all at once.
Taking a look at the upcoming roster, reason for excitement (like the young rotation, Torkelson, Greene) has to be offset by the lack of likely star players up the middle.
And those middle positions (catcher, second base, shortstop, center field) really are key.
It’s clear the Tigers aren’t going to have to carry a lot of money in payroll. They’re stuck with Cabrera’s $32 million, sure. But without any key signings, their next most expensive player would be Boyd, in his final year of arbitration, at maybe $8 million.
It’s hard to find anyone who will cost more than $4 million for the year, and much of the roster will be filled at around the league minimum.
So they have the money. They have the need. Now is the time to begin spending.