Detroit Tigers: What to make of the lack of signings

Detroit Tigers president of baseball operations Scott Harris speaks during his introductory news conference.
Detroit Tigers president of baseball operations Scott Harris speaks during his introductory news conference. / Ryan Garza / USA TODAY NETWORK

Detroit Tigers have been quiet this off-season, why?

When the Detroit Tigers brought in President of Baseball Operations Scott Harris, there was a lot of buzz that this off-season would be something. Between the talk of Harris purging the roster and taking calculated risks, there was at least some expectation of changes.

At his introductory press conference, the Detroit Tigers manager made it clear that the off-season would at least bring changes. So far, those changes have been trading Joe Jiménez to the Atlanta Braves for two prospects. He also signed Matthew Boyd to bring back a familiar face.

At the General Manager's Meetings in Las Vegas, Harris laid out some of the things he wanted to address on the roster, such as adding a left-handed hitting infielder and a right-handed hitting outfielder.

At Winter Meetings, things were pretty quiet. There was the trade mentioned above that brought intriguing prospect Justyn-Henry Malloy to the Tigers and one signing. However, the rest of the team's roster moves have been minimal and leave plenty to be desired.

Coming out of Winter Meetings, MCB's own Matthew Scheidel offered some grades about how the Tigers fared, and they were not pretty. The grades were warranted. It's not that the Tigers were expected to come out on the other side of Winter Meetings like the New York Mets with money flying everywhere, but something would have been nice.

With nothing really to show for it, it begs the question to be asked: why? The Tigers have needs to fill and some voids in the lineup to account for. Harris has been quiet, and the only thing that comes to mind is that the 2023 season will be a lot less competitive than expected.

While the idea of Rebuild 2.0 has been thrown around, I neglected to think it would be that bad. But with the Tigers failing to do much of anything, it is hard to find players to fill these holes on the free-agent market.

The market for third basemen was already incredibly thin, and 39-year-old Justin Turner remains the best option. It makes finding a solution for the hole even harder if they continue to stand pat. Harris may want to see what happens with some of the team's prospects but failing to fill holes is a problem.

The Tigers may be looking to gain another high draft pick with a rough performance in 2023. Harris has not implied that the Tigers are looking to be competitive in 2023, and his moves do not reflect that of a team looking to complete.

The lack of signings makes it feel like a long summer is coming in 2023—another year of mediocrity. The only thing to make of the lack of signings to this point is that Harris is trying to build for the future and get his organization moving in the right direction.

The point being Harris is focused more on the years beyond 2023 rather than building a competitor in 2023. I'm not sold on that being the right more. I was hoping Harris would bring in some new players this off-season, showing an effort to build a competitive team in 2023.

This has not been the case. While the holidays are nearing and things may slow for a bit, the Detroit Tigers still have plenty to do this off-season. Harris needs to do something unless the plan is to tank and try it all again in 2024.

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