Three reasons the Detroit Tigers will struggle to bring in top talent via free agency
MLB Free Agency has begun and the Detroit Tigers are expected to be active--but playing at the top of the market may prove challenging
The Detroit Tigers and President of Baseball Operations Scott Harris have made it known they intend to be active this offseason. The new regime is eager to mark their own fingerprint on an organization ran by Al Avila the previous seven seasons and free agency is one of the quickest way to instantly improve a 66-96 organization at the major league level.
Many expect Harris to take every avenue at improving the team: free agency, trades, and waivers alike. Free agency in particular is interesting in that motives matter to players. Take Andrew Chafin, for example. While the club had made various improvements, the Tigers were not picked by many to make the playoffs, let alone win the AL Central.
Chafin was coming off of an excellent season in which he supplied 1.4 fWAR across 68 innings and likely had many suitors, but ultimately chose Detroit in large part due to the proximity to his Ohio home. It's variables like these that make free agency incalculable to begin with, but there are other reasons the Detroit Tigers may struggle, particularly if they are interested in playing at the top of the market.
There are needs galore. Starting pitching, third base, and outfield help would be the minimum positions that should be addressed in some fashion this offseason. But don't expect Verlander, Judge, or Correa to be catching the next flight to DTW, at least for now.