Welcome to the 2021-22 offseason, Detroit Tigers fans.
It should be an exciting offseason of news and rumors for the Detroit Tigers, but as we enter the 2021-22 MLB offseason there are still many questions marks surrounding the Tigers’ true intentions that it seems sensible to temper joy just a bit.
And that’s to say nothing of the impending work stoppage, with many around the game assuming we’re set for an offseason speed bump to arrive in December.
Here’s what we know: The Tigers have about $45 million on the books that they owe for the 2022 season. When you add in estimated salaries for arbitration eligible players, as well as pre-arbitration players on the 40-man roster, the Tigers are most likely sitting at about $75,000,000 entering the offseason.
That’s about $5-10 million less than the estimated $83 million or so they spent on payroll in 2021.
They have a good core of players that gave fans a lot to be happy about — well, after the month of April at least. They have a good group of prospects who ought to arrive sometime early in 2022, like Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene.
And they have a few needs, like shoring up the starting pitching a bit as well as fixing some holes up the middle.
Shortstop, naturally, comes to mind as the biggest need. Houston Astros shortstop free agent Carlos Correa, who is expected to declare free agency, is first among most want lists. But then you’ve got Corey Seager, Trevor Story, Marcus Semien and more who might fit the bill.
Naturally, Tigers fans with a bit of nostalgia on their minds are thinking about Max Scherzer or Justin Verlander returning to Motown, but what about Kevin Gausman or Robbie Ray?
Long gone seem the days of late owner Mike Ilitch, who spent $200 million like it was nothing in an attempt to bring a World Series title to Detroit.
Yet we’ve seen quotes from GM Al Avila and owner Christopher Ilitch stating they know the needs and they know now’s the time to start spending. Suddenly dollar signs are appearing in the eyes of fans remembering how fun it was to go to the ballpark, expecting to see some of the game’s biggest stars wearing the Olde English D.
We’ve also seen each surge of excitement reined back in by warnings of realism that the budget might not be as big as we hope. If the Tigers can just get to the average payroll of $130M, that would actually give them $55 million to spend. That seems a bit hopeful though, so we’ll just go with a simpler $50 million figure.
Fortunately for us, in September Motor City Bengals’ Chris Brown suggested some fun ways for the Tigers to spend $50 million.
Let’s hope they listen to at least a few of them.
This could be a really fun offseason, Tigers fans. Let’s see what happens next.
Detroit Tigers free agency / trade tracker
C Tucker Barnhart ($7.5M option), acquired from Reds for minor league IF Nic Quintana (11/3)
SP Eduardo Rodriguez (5 years, $77 million) signed (11/16)
Detroit Tigers free agents lost
Derek Holland (unsigned)
Wily Peralta (unsigned)
Jose Urena (unsigned)
Julio Teheran (unsigned)
Detroit Tigers rumors
Detroit Tigers payroll 2022
Detroit Tigers 2022 payroll as of today: $97,750,000*
Detroit Tigers 2022 projected payroll ceiling: $126,650,000
Available to spend: $27,100,000
*Current obligations are about $45 million, but this estimate includes arbitration eligible player estimates as well as pre-arbitration players on the 40-man roster.
Detroit Tigers top prospects 2022
OF Riley Greene
IF Spencer Torkelson
C Dillon Dingler
RHP Matt Manning
RHP Jackson Jobe
RHP Ty Madden
LHP Joey Wentz
IF Colt Keith
IF Gage Workman
IF Isaac Pacheco