Scott Harris has said that he is focused on getting some pitching help ($$$) this offseason. It makes sense considering that the starting rotation and the bullpen both have some holes. But if he wants to fill those holes via the free agent market, he may want to act fast.
Two of the better free agent pitchers are already off the market. SP Aaron Nola returned to the Phillies on a seven-year, $172 million deal on Sunday. That's about $24.5 million per season. For how good Nola can be and the type of pitcher he is, that's a steal for the Phillies.
One of the best relievers is off the market as well. The Atlanta Braves signed RHP Reynaldo Lopez to a three-year, $30 million deal on Monday. Lopez would have been a great addition to the Tigers bullpen with his swing-and-miss stuff. But alas, he's a Brave.
The Braves and Phillies are two teams that made the playoffs last season. They are good teams that are trying to not just stay good, but get better. They've acted fast, and will likely reap the rewards.
The Tigers, meanwhile, were a below-average team in 2023. They traded for Mark Canha a few days after the World Series ended, but have done nothing since. They have a lot of holes to fill, and through one offseason and about three weeks of this offseason, Harris has not shown a lot of urgency.
The division is there for the taking. The White Sox are a disaster, the Royals are the Royals, Cleveland is likely trading its best pitcher this offseason, and the Twins are cutting payroll. The Tigers can be the team to rise above the others and take control of a weak AL Central, but so far, the president of baseball operations, along with ownership, appear to have no interest in doing so.
Maybe I'm overreacting. It is still very early in the offseason, after all. It's not even Thanksgiving. We've still got a long way to go. I'd love to be wrong, but based on history, it looks like the Tigers are just going to stand by while other teams spend and act like serious organizations once again.