Detroit Tigers: Free Agency push could mean move for Spencer Torkelson
Detroit Tigers’ offseason moves could move Spencer Torkelson.
The Detroit Tigers will have a long offseason ahead of them, but they may be looking to make some changes in free agency. MCB’s own Jake Boes discussed the possibility of poaching a division rival for the team moving forward.
In Boes’s piece, he goes over the idea of the Detroit Tigers recruiting José Abreu in free agency. Boes states that a one-year $20 million contract sounds right for the veteran first baseman. I’m in on this idea. Bringing in Abreu for a season to see what happens is not the worst thing in the world.
There is hope that Abreu comes to Detroit, as the rumors seem to be that the Chicago White Soxwillo let him walk and head to the free-agent market. There are likely going to be multiple suitors for Abreu when the time comes, but the Tigers could make a push, as Boes suggests.
Abreu will be 36 when 2023 rolls around, and he still finds ways to get the job done. Like Justin Verlander, Abreu ages like a fine wine. In 2022, Abreu posted a .304/.378/.446 with 40 doubles, 15 homers, and 75 RBI for the White Sox.
Boes already took a deeper dive into Abreu and what he might bring to the Tigers, so let’s talk about what that may bring within the Tigers organization. For Abreu, if he were to take the spot at first base, it could mean change is coming.
While Boes suggested Abreu would play first and be the designated hitter taking some pressure off Miguel Cabrera and still allowing Spencer Torkelson to play first. It’s the most logical option, but I wanted to pose another angle to this since I had been pondering the Tigers targeting Abreu.
With the Tigers need an excellent long-term option at third base and hope still being there with Torkelson after a good rebound when he was promoted. By the Tigers after the All-Star break this summer… it could be a great combination.
Detroit Tigers could explore adding versatility to Spencer Torkelson’s resume.
Albeit I was the first person running the “what the heck” flag up the pole when Torkelson was drafted as a third baseman, I could see the move happening. Though it was Al Avila who drafted a highly touted first baseman as a third baseman, it’s not off the table.
The bat is expected to come around and settle in, so holding true to that, it makes me think that Torkelson could be moved around. A.J. Hinch has talked about versatility amongst Tigers players and hoping that he can instill this.
Who’s to say that Torkelson is not converted to a first/third base guy? Abreu comes into play first and be a designated hitter, with Cabrera being a designated hitter at other times. Torkelson’s fresh off a .203/.285/.319 season over 404 plate appearances in his rookie campaign.
Since the Tigers need to address the need at third base, why not give it a go? Abreu would bring a nice boost to the team’s offense and could offer the chance to create some versatility with Torkelson.
It’s not the perfect plan. After a lackluster rookie campaign, Torkelson has plenty of room to improve. Beyond that, getting him to focus on defense and changing positions may take concentration on his performance at the dish, which could be counterproductive.
But there are reasons to consider it. Suppose Torkelson’s bat starts to produce as is expected. In that case, that’s going to lead the Tigers to have a heavy-hitting middle of the lineup with the versatility to move players around and possibly add in more pieces.
Hinch is right, versatility is a good thing, so it’s not the worst idea in the world. Just some food for thought as the offseason inches closer.