Ranking Detroit Tigers’ 5 Biggest Offseason Needs
5 Biggest Offseason Needs for The Detroit Tigers
The Detroit Tigers finished well this season overall with a decent showing in the playoffs, but their talent and fan base scream for better results. I like the moves on the coaching staff. Although Jim Leyland was like Sparky Anderson and my grandpa reincarnated and I’ll love him forever, it was time to move on. Brad Ausmus is risky, but I like the idea of a former Tigers catcher calling the shots. It’s worked in the past for other teams.
The Tigers also brought in Omar Vizquel, a classy former shortstop perfect for a baserunning coach and huge for upcoming star shortstop Jose Iglesias. Iglesias has so much potential as an infielder; he has good speed on the bases and upside as a hitter. Adding experience with Wally Joyner as a hitting coach and Matt Martin as a defensive coordinator sounds good on paper, but we’ll see what they bring to the table in the Spring.
Despite these moves, there are still gaping holes on both offense and defense. Some things just need to be taken care of through free agency or trades, and some need to be handled in-house. In other words, the Tigers have some players that just need some coaching, personal help, or experience. Leyland was a guy who let players play, which is a reason why players loved him, but maybe the Tigers need some more hands-on coaching. Ausmus was an active player not that long ago, so maybe that’ll help. Regardless, these are the biggest offseason needs for the Detroit Tigers.
5. A Solid Second Baseman
I’m all about grooming young talent, but not when the Tigers are already doing that with a shortstop, and not when they are World Series contenders. They need good defense, decent hitting and speed on the basepaths from the second base position, and they need it now. Omar Infante was almost all of that. Infante hit .318 in the regular season, but a dismal .205 in the postseason. If the Tigers reach a deal with Infante, it’ll likely mean big bucks for someone who isn’t necessarily the answer.
4. Keep Max Scherzer
Sometimes the best offseason moves are keeping who you can count on. Max Scherzer is a trustworthy player who does his job. In fact, he did it better than anyone in the American League last year and won the Cy Young. Take care of him now.
3. A True Leadoff Hitter
Austin Jackson is a tough one. He has so much potential but just refuses to deliver. Jackson’s .272 regular season batting average and .214 postseason average just won’t do it. There are rumors of the Red Sox’ Jacoby Ellsbury coming to Detroit, but nothing solid yet.
2. Fix Prince: He’s Broken, But Definitely Not Broke
Prince Fielder is a great player. I’m going to hold onto that for at least another season. The Tigers gave him about every last dollar left in the city of Detroit, and he needs to start performing. Detroit is not the kind of city you want to be making “too much money” in. Something tells me the great blue-collar citizens of Motown won’t be cool with that concept. Fielder batting .225 in the postseason is a crime. Coach him, get him personal help, or teach him yoga. Whatever you can do, just fix Prince Fielder, or it’s going to get ugly.
1. Get Joe Nathan, Like Right Now
Every living person who has watched the Detroit Tigers play over the last decade knows they need a closer. Not Phil Coke -- I mean a real closer. Phil Coke is a closer for the Houston Astros, not a team looking to win a World Series. Get Joe Nathan immediately. He’s already talking up the Tigers on the radio, he knows the Tigers plenty after playing for the Twins, and he’s cool with living in the Midwest. It’s time to get Joe Nathan -- right now.