Detroit Tigers Winter Meetings preview: 3 positions that need to be addressed

Chicago White Sox v Detroit Tigers
Chicago White Sox v Detroit Tigers / Rey Del Rio/GettyImages
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1. The Detroit Tigers need a new third baseman

The Detroit Tigers decided not to tender Jeimer Candelario a contract for 2023, which is no surprise given what he was expected to earn through arbitration versus what he produced for the team last season. While it was always a possibility that Detroit and Harris could bring back Candelario for less, that possibility was squashed recently when the Washington Nationals announced Candy's signing to a one-year, $5 million pact.

Some recent ponderings had the Freep's Evan Petzold wondering if it's possible the Tigers actually go for a second baseman and move Jonathan Schoop, the club's current everyday second baseman, to third. That option seems unlikely considering Schoop's offensive output, or lack thereof, last season, coupled with his outstanding defensive numbers at second.

With Candelario's signing, the market for third basemen will likely gain some traction at the Winter Meetings, especially considering free agent options are rather thin anyway. The best option on paper is Justin Turner, but Turner is 38 and coming off a season in which he split time equally between third base and designated hitter--not ideal for what they are looking for.

The obvious target on the trade front would be Rafael Devers, the Boston Red Sox star who is a year away from free agency and has not yet been able to agree on an extension. The Red Sox are still trying to win in an AL East gauntlet, so they would hold significant leverage in negotiations now versus this summer if the team were to falter in the first half.

More likely, I expect an under-the-radar type young player who the team believes they can improve upon without having to fork up the money for an extension while also giving up prospect capital essentially for Devers' exclusive negotiating rights.