The Athletic's extension predictions are bad news for Carpenter, Torkelson's futures

Detroit Tigers v Minnesota Twins
Detroit Tigers v Minnesota Twins / David Berding/GettyImages

When the Detroit Tigers signed Colt Keith to a six-year, $28.6 million contract extension before he'd made his MLB debut, the front office was taking a leap of faith fans had never seen from them before, and they were doubling down on their belief in their mostly homegrown young core. It was an investment in the team's future, and a potentially costly one if things didn't work out.

Keith managed to impress enough for an extension by basically speedrunning through the minors, but his extension inevitably raised questions about some of the young big leaguers who have gotten their feet wet over the past few years and have shown a lot of promise.

Riley Greene, Kerry Carpenter, and Spencer Torkelson are three of the biggest pieces of the Tigers' long-term puzzle offensively, but are any of them close to the same kind of career security? The Athletic's Tigers beat writer Cody Stavenhagen has higher hopes for Greene than Carpenter or Torkelson (subscription required).

The Athletic's Tigers beat writer thinks Riley Greene has better shot at extensions than Kerry Carpenter, Spencer Torkelson

Stavenhagen cited Carpenter's defense as the one of the biggest detractors from his chances of receiving an extension anytime soon, though he didn't completely shut down the idea of one being offered at all. Carpenter is still 26 and in just his second full year in the majors, so there is time for things to improve. Torkelson's defense and low OBP were also negatives for him, and Stavenhagen noted that he's represented by superagent Scott Boras, whose clients tend to avoid extensions like the plague.

However, it's a different story for Greene. Tim Britton, also of The Athletic, projected a host of extension predictions across MLB in early March (subscription required), and put a potential extension for Greene up against those of fellow outfielders Ronald Acuña Jr. and Corbin Carroll, which is very good company to be in. Britton's prediction for Greene was eight years and $125 million, a higher AAV than Carroll's but smaller than Acuña's.

Stavenhagen agreed that Greene, who has the 17th highest fWAR of any player in the major leagues through Wednesday's game, had the highestv potential of any of Detroit's young hitters.

All three of these players are still pre-arbitration, making just about league minimum, but they won't be this affordable forever. The Tigers should absolutely take the plunge on at least one more of them and commit to him, but they have some time to figure out who that'll be.