Before the Detroit Tigers front office decides not to spend any money or make any significant changes, let's indulge ourselves a little, shall we? Say that the Tigers become magically endowed with all the money Chris Ilitch can spend, and then he actually spends it. Suspend your disbelief, let go of your well-earned pessimism surrounding Tigers management for a moment and let yourself drift off into dreamland.
Even if Shohei Ohtani wasn't this year's headliner, this free agent class would be a fun one to watch, with a lot of players who also deserve to make a lot of money and will do a lot of good for the teams they end up with. If the Tigers had the pick of the lot and all of the other 29 teams just faded away and let them woo every player they wanted without competition, which ones would Detroit target?
Here are 4 dream Tigers free agent targets this offseason that would drive fans wild
An honorable mention goes to JD Martinez, who spent four great years in Detroit, despite being hampered by an injury toward the end, and is a free agent this year in the twilight of his career. It would be a lot of fun to see him back in a Tigers uniform for his last year or two and give him some more time in a city that still has a lot of fondness for him. Here are four more free agents who would do the Tigers franchise a whole lot of good, even if they only come to Detroit in our dreams.
Lefty starters don't make up a huge number in the free agent pool, but Jordan Montgomery would have a great case as one of the highest-earning, most sought after of them even if there were more. Coming off of a World Series win and some remarkable performances to help the Texas Rangers get there, Monty would be the perfect lefty replacement for a departing Eduardo Rodriguez, who unsurprisingly opted out of his contract almost as soon as he could.
Montgomery finished 2023 with a 2.79 ERA in the regular season and 2.90 in the postseason, and it's stayed under 4.00 since 2021. He proved himself not only as an effective October presence but as a man for all seasons. In joining the Tigers, he would move the team's net loss of lefties back to zero, which they're desperately in need of. Without Rodriguez, Tarik Skubal will be the lone lefty in the Tigers' inconsistent rotation, and its pitching staff will only have four total.
The Tigers pitching staff has a lot of potential — Skubal immediately comes to mind — but without E-Rod, they lack a proven, scary presence on the mound. Monty is starting to get one, if he's not already there. Adding him would give them an Opening Day ace who, barring disaster, would be able to pitch 150+ innings over the course of the season.