The offseason is a season for dreaming for Detroit Tigers fans. It's a time for wishing that your club had more money, or that they spent the money they have more intelligently, or both. It's a time for looking longingly at the free agent class, knowing which pickups would be best for your team, and hoping that the front office will see what you see. That brings us here, to the Tigers 2024 dream lineup. Nothing is off limits; money is no object. Let's be a more than a little delusional together.
The dream 2024 Detroit Tigers starting lineup
The point here isn't to overhaul the entire Tigers roster with available free agents. No, this should still be a Tigers lineup at its core. It should reflect some well-earned belief in the guys that are already in Detroit and did great work in 2023 to get the Tigers to their best finish in a long time. Will there be a small sprinkling of wishful thinking? Of course. A little wishful thinking never hurt anyone. Here's what the lineup could look like given unlimited resources and no competition from other teams.
Batting leadoff: LF Mark Canha
Mark Canha is Detroit's newest real-life Tiger, having just come from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for prospect Blake Holub. It's a positive development; Canha is a vet who got off to a barnstorming start in Milwaukee, which shows a lot of potential for him to be good for the Tigers in the last few years of his career. It also gives the Tigers outfield, which has fluctuated a lot, a more regular presence in left field to hopefully replace Akil Baddoo, who had a disappointing season.
In Milwaukee, Canha put up .287/.373/.427 in 50 games, which contributed to a career .250/.349/.422. He'll be a dependable presence on the base paths who will still run if he's allowed to (between the Brewers and the New York Mets this year, he stole 11 bases). He'll also be adding a 9.7% walk rate to a team that really doesn't walk enough. Accordingly, with a .358 OBP in 2023, Canha beat out all of the 2023 Tigers, which will make him a good leadoff bat.
All in all, Canha is a great puzzle piece in Detroit's real 2024 lineup as well as this imagined one. He'll be a good complimentary piece to the real bevy of young talent the Tigers are just starting to tap into and be able to bring some consistency to the lineup and outfield.