4 pending free agents the Detroit Tigers need to target this offseason

The Detroit Tigers need to decide if they are serious about contending this coming offseason.
Los Angeles Angels v Toronto Blue Jays
Los Angeles Angels v Toronto Blue Jays / Mark Blinch/GettyImages
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Jordan Montgomery would bolster the Tigers rotation

The Tigers' rotation is in a weird spot right now. There is a lot of young talent on the pitching side to be sure. However, many of their arms have some real durability questions. Tarik Skubal, Casey Mize, and Matt Manning have all missed significant time with injuries and help from the minor leagues on the pitching side is a ways away. Even if the Tigers are optimistic that those three guys will pitch meaningful innings in 2024, Matt Boyd is a free agent after the season and they will need another arm in the rotation. The guy they should target to fill that void is Jordan Montgomery.

There are going to be bigger names available in free agency when it comes to starting pitching like Ohtani, Sonny Gray, and maybe Aaron Nola if the Phillies can't figure out how to extend him, but Montgomery fits the bills for the Tigers on a number of levels. He isn't likely to require a megadeal to sign (although he will be far from a budget sign) and the guy just puts decent season after decent season. Montgomery throws a bunch of strikes and knows who he is as a pitcher on the mound and pitches to his strengths. That experience would help the Tigers' young pitching core refine their craft while providing some rotation stability if there are speedbumps along the way.

Matt Chapman is the marquee signing that Detroit needs to make happen

If the Tigers are serious about wanting to contend starting in 2024, the offense is going to need a boost. Several of the Tigers' top prospects have struggled and/or gotten hurt and that plus Baez's contract being a dumpster fire has added up to Detroit having the 27th ranked position player group by fWAR (6.4) in 2023. A huge step in the right direction would be by signing Matt Chapman, one of the top free agents available, as the centerpiece of their offseason.

The infield has been a primary offender for Detroit's offensive struggles and adding Chapman would instantly give them one of the better third basemen on both sides of the ball in the entire league. Chapman hits for some power, draws a ton of walks, and has posted a wRC+ of 110 or better in six of the seven seasons he has been in the league in addition to being an excellent defender. However, he will inevitably be pretty expensive and may require a long-term deal to sign. Also, Chapman is basically a lock to receive a qualifying offer which the Tigers will have to consider.

There is also the future of top prospect Colt Keith to consider given that he, too, plays third base. However, Keith has seen plenty of time at second base in the minors which is a position the Tigers probably need to upgrade anyways. Between that and the DH spot opening up with Miggy retiring, Detroit could easily make it work when it comes to giving playing time to everyone they want to.