Say what you will about the Detroit Tigers' offseason additions, but Detroit has at least been active during one of the slowest-moving offseasons and free agency windows in recent memory. They kicked things off by acquiring Mark Canha in a trade with the Brewers to fill the veteran presence hole left by Miguel Cabrera, then quickly followed up with Kenta Maeda and Jack Flaherty to bolster the rotation. Eventually, they added Andrew Chafin and Shelby Miller for the bullpen, too.
On top of all that, they extended No. 2 prospect Colt Keith for eight years and $28.6 million. The quality of those additions and the risk of the extension can be debated, but the Tigers went into the offseason with a plan and they executed accordingly.
Earlier offseason grades from CBS Sports and FOX Sports, which came before the Keith extension, weren't entirely enthused about the Tigers' additions. CBS said, "It's fine," before giving the team a C, while FOX was a bit more generous and gave Detroit a B- for their work. The Athletic just released their own version (subscription required), which grants the Tigers their best grade so far: a solid B.
Detroit Tigers granted a B grade from The Athletic for offseason moves
The Athletic was a bit conservative with its ratings — only the Orioles and Dodgers got A's — so this is a win for the Tigers. Surprisingly, they fared better than the Braves, who got a C despite adding Reynaldo López early on, along with gambles Jarred Kelenic and Chris Sale. The Athletic puts the Tigers in the same league as the Diamondbacks (who got Eduardo Rodriguez in free agency), Reds (who got another former Tiger in Jeimer Candelario), Astros, Royals, Yankees, and Phillies. The Yankees were a surprising snub to be left out of the A grade tier (both CBS and FOX gave them A's), especially given their success in getting the Juan Soto trade across the line.
They also pointed out a few things as unsavory but nevertheless still relevant reminders about the Tigers' offense last season: they ranked 27th in average, 26th in OBP, and 28th in OPS, and, despite acquiring Canha, didn't give fans much reason to believe that those numbers will improve in 2024. However, Spencer Torkelson hit over 30 home runs last year, Kerry Carpenter hit 20, Riley Greene will be coming back from injury, and hopefully Keith will be able to live up to the promise of his contract.
The Tigers have a ways to go before they see their first postseason since 2014, but it's still nice that they're being recognized for what they have accomplished this offseason.