First Things First: Should the Detroit Tigers Bring In a First Baseman?
Potential Detroit Tigers Free Agent Targets
The San Francisco Giants shocked the world this past season by having the best record in baseball. Belt was a major reason why. He only played 97 games because of injury, but when he was on the field he was productive. He smacked 29 home runs and had an OPS of .975. Heading into his mid-30s, Belt won’t get the big-money free-agent deal at this point in his career.
Another plus is he has outfield experience, and could easily be slotted out there in a pinch, or if the situation calls for it. If Torkelson comes up and Belt is playing well, then some outfield competition is a good problem to have. The biggest issue concerning a potential Belt deal is the length of the contract.
While he won’t get the four or five-year deal, he will probably get at least three years. That may add a little bit too much cluster after this coming season. Another option Belt has is to accept the qualifying offer he received from the Giants. Then another issue would arise if the Tigers were to sign him, and that would be the loss of a draft pick.
Travis Shaw had a down year between Milwaukee and Boston in 2021. Shaw is a definite buy-low candidate, who could impress and stick in the lineup. He is another player who could spell the Tigers at various positions, including second base. He may even be available on a minor league deal. Shaw is someone who fits the temporary bill very well which the Tigers seek until Torkelson is major league ready.
The former Athletic, Padre, Red Sox, and Ranger is a 12-year major league vet on the downswing of his career. He only managed 10 homers in 229 at-bats this past season. He’ll be 36 in 2022, and could be the type of veteran bat off the bench and at first base who could help this young team start to compete for over 162 games.