Detroit Tigers predicted to splurge this offseason by one local publication
One local newspaper has the Detroit Tigers opening up the wallets this offseason
Nothing is certain at the moment, but the general consensus in that the Detroit Tigers won’t be spending as much money as they did last offseason. New president of baseball operations Scott Harris may focus on other means of improving the roster, such as trades. But one local news publication laughs in the face of all of that.
Tony Paul of The Detroit News just released his top 50 free agents (subscription-required) of the offseason, and he has the Detroit Tigers signing three of them. The three free agents he has coming to Detroit are SP Carlos Rodon (four years, $120 million), C Willson Contreras (five years, $120 million) and Japanense import OF Masataka Yoshida (four years, $60 million).
I think most people would be surprised if the Detroit Tigers spent this much this offseason. Personally, I would be happy to get just one of these guys. But hey, you certainly wouldn’t hear any complaining from us if they did end up opening the wallets again.
Let’s dive into these free agents. Rodon is coming off his best season as a major leaguer. He was previously with the Chicago White Sox, where he had trouble staying healthy. He was mostly healthy in 2021, where he put up a 2.37 ERA and struck out over 12 batters per nine in 132.2 IP.
Last year, he signed a two-year deal with the Giants, where Scott Harris was the GM, and pitched to the tune of a 2.88 ERA and a career high 6.2 fWAR in 178 IP—also the most of his career. He’s finally healthy, and it shows. He opted out of his deal with the Giants, thus making him a free agent again.
While I would LOVE to see Rodon in a Tigers uniform, I just don’t see them spending big money on a starting pitcher. The only real advantage they have here is the Scott Harris connection. My guess? Rodon goes back to the Giants.
We’ve already talked at length about Contreras. The Tigers have showed interest, of course. The prospect of him coming here isn’t out of the realm of possiblility. Again, there’s a Scott Harris connection here as well. But at $24 million a year? I’m not sure the Tigers would spend that kind of money on a catcher.
Yoshida is a fantastic player out of Japan. We briefly discussed him in a story about how the Tigers need to invest more in international free agency last week. He crushes the ball and walks more than he strikes out. He sounds like a perfect fit.
But Harris said that he’s looking for a right-handed hitting outfielder, and Yoshida bats left-handed. Yoshida’s prowess may change Harris’ mind, but if we’re going by what he said this week, Yoshida is probably out of the cards for the Tigers
Lastly, lets get into the elephant in the room: Chris Ilitch. Will he let Scott Harris add to the payroll, and if so, how much? If the Detroit Tigers were to sign all three of the these players, that’s $69 million in added payroll, more than last season when they added $55 million. It’s hard to see Ilitch allowing that much payroll to be added in back-to-back offseasons, especially given how last season went. But, who knows? Only time will tell on that front.