Detroit Tigers may need to reach beyond free agent market for third base hole

Tyler Kotila
Detroit Tigers third baseman Jeimer Candelario prepares before the pitch during a game from the 2022 season.
Detroit Tigers third baseman Jeimer Candelario prepares before the pitch during a game from the 2022 season. / G Fiume/GettyImages
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Detroit Tigers may need to reach beyond the free agent market.

While there was talk of non-tendering Jeimer Candelario for some time before the deadline, the Detroit Tigers now have a hole to fill on the depth chart. With Harold Castro and Willi Castro departing in the move, it makes things even harder.

The Detroit Tigers could shift Spencer Torkelson back across the diamond, or try to make Ryan Kreidler into an everyday third baseman, or possibly try to run the Kody Clemens at third show again, all of which do not sound like the greatest of options.

The move of Torkelson over to third sounds all right if the bat continues to come around and the team brings in a third baseman off the free-agent market. Kreidler showed he's big-league-ready, but I do not see him being able to hold down an everyday role in 2023, but that's just my opinion.

If this is the case and the internal options are not as plentiful or as exciting as Scott Harris would like them to be, he may turn to the free-agent market. The best name on the market is Justin Turner, who has held things down at third for the Los Angeles Dodgers for the last nine seasons. Beyond that, things get ugly, fast.

There's always Miguel Sanó, who is listed as a first baseman, but the Minnesota Twins already tried that out, and we all know how that went. The only name that intrigues me off of the list on MLB dot com is Brian Anderson, who has been with the Miami Marlins since cracking the big leagues after a collegiate career with the University of Arkansas Razorbacks.

While the Tigers may think one of these players is someone they can work with or someone that they can use to build moving forward, there is another option. Leaving the free agent market and pursuing trades.

Scott Harris said that the team will take calculated risks and make some moves to change the landscape of this team this offseason. It feels like a trade to bring in an "outside hire," as the third baseman could be in the cards.

There's no telling exactly what the Tigers are going to do, but making a move to bring in someone the Tigers really like, rather than settling for one of the free agents, simply because that's who's available, seems like a better idea. It will be interesting to watch how the Tigers attack this area of need this off-season.

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