The Detroit Tigers had a chance to upgrade their lineup with a good hitter on an affordable contract.
And they blew it.
OF Lourdes Gurriel Jr. has reportedly returned to the Arizona Diamondbacks on a three-year, $42 million with a $14 million club option for a fourth year in 2027. Arizona keeps a key member of their 2023 World Series team around for a few more years.
Gurriel is coming off his best season offensively. He hit 24 homers, had a .201 ISO, a 106 wRC+ and accumulated a 2.1 fWAR. At 30 years old, he's right in the middle of his prime and should be good for the entirety of this deal.
We probably won't ever know if the Tigers made a run for Gurriel, but we can make a pretty safe assumption that they didn't. Scott Harris doesn't want to sign anyone that might block prospects, unless it's Jack Flaherty.
Gurriel likely wouldn't block anybody. Parker Meadows is pretty much locked into center field, and Justyn-Henry Malloy will likely be relegated to DH duty because his defense is terrible no matter where he plays.
Outside of those two, there's no prospects for him to block. So what about the contract itself? Well, Harris gave $14 million to Flaherty, who's completely cooked, but he wouldn't pony up for Gurriel, who would have actually helped the team win games. Okay...
Maybe Gurriel didn't want to come to Detroit. There's a good chance he liked it in Arizona. If I had a chance to come back to a team that made the World Series the previous season, I'd probably take that chance 10 times out of 10. That's always a possibility.
But knowing this front office, they probably didn't even make a phone call. Heaven forbid we upgrade one of the worst offenses in baseball. Another missed opportunity for this front office.