The Detroit Tigers have a huge offseason ahead of them. They have an opportunity to become the class of the AL Central if they make the right moves. They just need some quality big league talent.
Sadly, as we've discussed many times already, the free agent class this offseason is less than ideal. There aren't a lot of options outside of Shohei Ohtani, and we would be shocked if the Tigers were in on him.
Many of these free agents are guys that we don't want the Tigers to sign anyway. We're going to go over those today.
We want the Tigers to spend, don't get us wrong. Just not on these five players. Let's get started.
The Tigers have a glaring hole at third base. They've had it since they let Jeimer Candelario go last offseason and did nothing to replace him. By far, the best free agent available to help fill that hole is Matt Chapman.
Chapman was a first-round pick of the Oakland Athletics in 2014. He came up in 2017 and racked up 2.6 fWAR in 84 games.
That number shot up to 6.3 fWAR in 2018. Not only did his offense improve, but his defense was stellar, and still is to this day. He's right up there with Nolan Arenado as the best defensive third baseman in baseball. Unfortunately, the offense hasn't quite kept up like the defense has.
He got off to scorching hot start with the Blue Jays in 2023. Through April 30, Chapman was slashing .384/.465/.687 with a 216 wRC+ and a .303 ISO. There were MVP talks with him earlier this season.
From this point on, Chapman struggled mightilty at the plate. Chapman hit just .205 from May 1 onward with 12 homers and an 84 wRC+. He struck out at almost a 30% clip.
Chapman's defense is outstanding. Nobody is going to take that away from him. But offensively, he's Javier Baez with more walks. I don't know about the rest of Tigers fans, but one Javy Baez is enough for me.
If the Tigers could get him on some sort of discount, then sure, go and get Matt Chapman. But he's definitely not worth getting into a bidding war over.