Added Detroit Tigers depth could trigger demotion for Akil Baddoo.
The Detroit Tigers have not exactly gone out and brought in a ton, but they have made some changes this off-season. The team has made some moves, including a trade to specifically bring Mark Canha into the organization and the outfield. He will likely squeeze Akil Baddoo out of a position, though.
The Detroit Tigers have a problem with left-handed bats in the outfield. The other issue comes with Kerry Carpenter. The slugging left-handed hitter needs a spot in the lineup, and while there could be a chance that Riley Greene will be the team's DH at times in 2024, Carpenter may have to play some outfield.
That leaves Parker Meadows to play centerfield and Mark Canha to fill the corner outfield gaps. That leaves a combination of Andy Ibañez, Zach McKinstry, and Matt Vierling to serve as depth, with Vierling or McKinstry likely to play third. This leaves Akil Baddoo left out of the equation.
With Baddoo's time reeling, he has to have a loud spring to warrant being kept around as a bench bat. If not, the Tigers will likely kick Baddoo to Triple-A instead of better versatility on the bench. It will be interesting to see what happens this spring, but Baddoo may end up in the minors at the start of the year.
Evan Woodberry of MLive has already hinted at this, but it is seemingly becoming all the more "real" after the Tigers extended Colt Keith on his six-year deal. It makes things less complicated on the infield and eats up another roster spot, assuming that Keith will be the team's second baseman on Opening Day.
Either way, Baddoo's role with the Tigers is drastically changing. The last few years he has been a continuous face for Detroit. He had burst onto the scene and carved himself a role out as a Tigers left fielder. In the last three seasons, he has played in 309 games.
In 2023, in particular, Baddoo played in 112 games where he slashed .218/.310/.372 with 13 doubles, a triple, and 11 home runs. He drove in 34 runs with 42 walks and 89 punchouts over 312 at-bats for the Tigers last year. He's been able to produce before, but the off-season has changed the scope of the Tigers roster.
Now, Baddoo is unlikely to be a real piece of the puzzle for Detroit. He's been moreover relegated to the minors or the bench as a fourth outfield bat, and that could be even later than fourth, depending on how you read the depth chart. There's a real chance that Badoo will end up in Triple-A at the start of the year.