Our predictions for Detroit Tigers free agents
Here are Jacob Boes predictions:
Shortstop: Marcus Semien
The Detroit Tigers have been wary about long-term contracts in recent history, and although Avila has mentioned they are unafraid of a long-term deal, I can’t envision the club being willing to go as long as a Carlos Correa or a Trevor Story will require.
In Semien, they can still address the shortstop need long-term, but maybe on a 5-6 year basis rather than a 7-10 year length. There are risks with Semien, but Story and Correa come with risks as well. Risks would only be compounded by the length of their contract.
Starting Pitcher: Anthony DeSclafani
Sticking with the theme, DeSclafani would be a solid arm that is beneath the top tier of pitchers. Given the changes the Detroit Tigers have made with pitching coach Chris Fetter, it may not be necessary for them to shop at the tip-top of the market.
Ideally, a deal would be shorter-term–two or three years maximum. DeSclafani would effectively present a bridge between now and the return of Spencer Turnbull, who is recovering from Tommy John Surgery.
Unexpected Surprise: Chris Devenski
It isn’t some mind-blowing acquisition, but the Detroit Tigers have stated they’re set in the bullpen. Additionally, Devenski had Tommy John Surgery on June 5, 2021, making his MLB return around August, assuming things go as smoothly as possible.
Hinch has a connection to Devenski from his days at Houston and it’s likely a deal that could be on a minor league basis. If things go perfectly, it’s an arm primed for the stretch run. If not, it’s minimal risk and maybe the Tigers can re-examine for 2023.
Surprise: Starling Marte
Yooper has been very vocal in bringing back Verlander. We shall see what Houston will offer the two-time Cy Young winner.
SS: Trevor Story. “I think they can get him for fewer years/money, and he doesn’t have the lengthy injury of Seager and Correa.
SP: Alex Wood: “The possible Dodgers connection”
Surprise: Chris Archer. “Just seems like a fun reclamation project..possibly as a reliever.
Now, for my predictions, I went back and forth about this for a while for a few days since our discussion on the podcast. So here are my predictions.
SS: Marcus Semien
I say Semien for three reasons. 1. He can play second base. Yes, I know the Tigers resigned Jonathan Schoop but Schoop could see more time at first base with Miguel Cabrera again. If Ryan Kreidler emerges early on in spring training or Triple-A, he can slide over to short and Semien at second with Schoop at first when Cabrera is the DH.
What about Spencer Torkelson? He could be called up in early summer and say, for example, Kreidler isn’t ready, you can have Semien at short with Tork at first. There are endless lineup combos with Semien. However, the point of signing him is to play short but we have seen Hinch move players around to strengthen his lineup.
Starting pitchers: RHP Marcus Stroman and LHP Andrew Heaney
Stroman is an ace that could make a huge difference for the Tigers in the AL Central and provide another veteran presence to Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal.
Now you may think I am nuts about Andrew Heaney, who struggled with the Yankees but look beyond the ERA for a moment. He is a lefty who was better than his ERA with a FIP of 4.85. He struck out 150 in 129 innings pitched with a K per 9 of 10.41. He can miss bats and perhaps some work with pitching coach Chris Fetter may help him. He may not seek a huge deal but a chance to redeem himself.
Surprise: José Iglesias or a trade for RHP Luis Castillo
They could strikeout in the shortstop market and go for a placeholder like Iglesias because of familiarity but the Luis Castillo trade prediction is more or less, wishful thinking because he is entering his arbitration years and the Reds may not able to afford him, based on their recent moves or trade him at the deadline when his value increases.
Those are our official predictions. Let’s hope the Tigers can finally have some success in the starting pitching market. The last few signings have hit the IL so we shall see where they go to shore up the rotation.