Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers: 5 biggest needs heading into the offseason

Detroit Tigers new president of baseball operations Scott Harris speaks during his introductory news conference Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, at Comerica Park in downtown Detroit. He is flanked by Tigers owner Chris Ilitch (left) and Ilitch Sports and Entertainment president Chris McGowan.
Detroit Tigers new president of baseball operations Scott Harris speaks during his introductory news conference Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, at Comerica Park in downtown Detroit. He is flanked by Tigers owner Chris Ilitch (left) and Ilitch Sports and Entertainment president Chris McGowan. /
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The Detroit Tigers need to get a lot better this offseason

The Detroit Tigers are coming off a season in which they had high expectations for the first time in half a decade and ended up finishing with a record of 66-96. That rightfully got Al Avila fired, and Scott Harris hired to try to right the ship.

This team needs *a lot* of help this offseason. Harris definitely has a lot of work ahead of him to try to clean up the mess that Avila left for him. But if he’s smart with the moves he makes, there’s no reason the Tigers can’t compete sooner rather than later.

After a highly disappoiting 2022 season, the Detroit Tigers are left picking up the pieces. They have plenty more than five needs this offseason, but here are the five that we feel are the most important.

Catcher

Detroit Tigers
CINCINNATI, OHIO – SEPTEMBER 24: Omar Narvaez #10 of the Milwaukee Brewers hits a single in the third inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on September 24, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

I personally don’t feel that catcher is that big of a need, as I think they could get away with Eric Haase and Jake Rogers next year. That being said, if they signed a veteran catcher on the cheap this offseason, I wouldn’t complain.

Tucker Barnhart was pretty bad, both offensively and defensively. Eric Haase has proven that he is deserving of a starting role. But you don’t know how Jake Rogers is going to be coming off Tommy John surgery.

Frankly, any offense you get from Rogers is a bonus. He had an .802 OPS in 127 plate appearances in 2021, which was quite shocking. His handling of the pitching staff was second to none that year. Even if the bat comes back down to earth (which it probably will), Rogers is a more-than-capable backup.

The Tigers will probably go after a lefty since Haase and Rogers both bat right-handed. Omar Narvaez makes this most sense here, but he is coming off the worst offensive season of his career, not counting 2020. He had an OPS+ of just 71, which wasn’t much better than Barnhart’s 64.

On the other hand, he was an All-Star in 2021, and has always had a nice eye at the plate, with his lowest walk rate in a season being 9.2%. Scott Harris has talked about dominating the strike zone, and Narvaez would fit that mold.

Again, I don’t think catcher is that big of a need, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the Detroit Tigers went after one this offseason.

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