Detroit Tigers offseason grades: Ownership keeps grades low
How did the Detroit Tigers do this offseason?
The offseason is coming to a close. Spring Training is upon us, and the Detroit Tigers appear to be done making moves. The team we have now will likely be the team we get for the 2023 season.
With that being said, it's time to grade the offseason. The Detroit Tigers didn't do a whole lot to address the team's needs, but I will do my best to give the team a fair shake. Scott Harris, in particular, will not be graded too harshly since it appears his owner didn't give him a lot of money to work with.
This team still has a lot of work to do. The 2023 season will likely not be very fun. But enough dilly-dallying, let's start handing out these grades.
Free agents: D
I'll grade Scott Harris and Chris Ilitch individually later on, but collectively it's pretty clear that they messed up big time in this area. They signed two major league free agents the entire offseason—and they were both starting pitchers. They didn't sign a single position player to a major-league contract. As a reminder, the 2022 Detroit Tigers had one of the worst offenses in franchise history.
Michael Lorenzen and Matthew Boyd could very well pitch their way into trade deadline flips, but that's not what this team needs right now. They need major league caliber position players.
That being said, Harris did bring in some minor league free agents that could make an impact in 2023, most recently INF Cesar Hernandez. He has a shot to crack the team out of camp, although it's certainly not guarenteed.
So while the Tigers did pretty bad in the free agent department overall, the solid minor league signings save the team from getting an F.
This is where Harris can really shine as a front office executive, and for the most part he didn't disappoint. At the Winter Meetings, he was able to trade Joe Jimenez to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for a very intriguing prospect in Justyn-Henry Malloy, as well as LHP Jake Higginbotham.
Then in January, Harris was able to swap Gregory Soto for three players could will likely get a lot of playing time for the Detroit Tigers in 2023. OF Matt Vierling, INF Nick Maton, and even C Donny Sands should get plenty of at-bats for the Tigers this season.
Harris was able to get good value in return in both of these trades, which is something the previous regime seldom ever did. We'll obviously have wait to see how these trades play out, but they both look pretty good on paper. It would have been nice to see more trades or more recognizable names in return, but Harris did a pretty nice job in the trade department.