Many Tigers fans have spent the first few weeks of the offseason hoping that our team fills some gaping holes at second and third base. Although Dave Dombrowski's comments have lead us to believe that Brandon Inge and Don Kelly will be utilized in a platoon situation, most of us see that as simply an adequate last-option type situation. Jose Reyes, Jimmy Rollins, and Aramis Ramirez aside, the best options to fill the holes are through trades.
Everybody's hope was that we could trade for Chase Headley of the Padres, who can hit, take walks, get on base, defend, run a little, and would be a rare (for the Tigers) top of the order hitter who doesn't strike out. However, in recent days, the Padres have lead teams to believe that they are planning on keeping Headley, even though they have two promising prospects (not exactly kicking the door, but could probably handle the Bigs). This could be a ploy because he will be well sought after, hoping to get more leverage, but in the event that they are actually against trading him we need other options. This is why I have begun to attempt to find some other options, in case the Padres asking price becomes too high.
The first and most obvious option would be David Wright. David would fill the gap at 3rd, but would cost a whole lot in both monetary commitments and prospects. Aramis Ramirez would provide a possibly better bat, equal defense, and no prospects. This one would excite many fans, but also disappoint others. Outlook: Not likely, and not worth it.
The second option would be to acquire Martin Prado from the Braves. After a disappointing season, the cash-strapped Braves are looking to shed his increasing salary and get something of value for him. The Rockies look like the best fit, because the Braves would want outfielders and/or a good shortstop back, and they have Seth Smith and Charlie Blackmon. This could have probably gotten done with Casper Wells, but he transformed into Doug Fister. Outlook: Not likely, cost likely not worth it with a weak farm.
The third option would be to trade for Chone Figgins. Chone has struggled greatly in his first two seasons as a Mariner, and as a result he is viewed as being very overpaid. However, as an Angel, he was one of the most consistent top of the order hitters, who got on base regularly and could run like a rabbit. He was not amazing on defense, but he flourished when the Angels gave him the full-time 3B job, rather than playing all over the diamond. He can probably benefit from having a change of scenery, and his game would work well in the friendly confines of Comerica. Plus, he would have some excellent bats behind him in the order, something that was lacking in Seattle. It would not take much to get him, even if Seattle picked up some of his salary. Outlook: Great opportunity, fills holes in the top of the order and at third, could definitely happen.
A fourth option would be to 'help' the Angels to un-clog their crowded infield by trading for either Howie Kendrick, Maicer Izturis, or Eric Aybar. All three can play all over the infield, they can handle bats, run, and field flawlessly. They would cost a little bit, but it would be less because they have to make room for a potential Mark Trumbo move to 3B to allow for Kendry(s) Morales to come back and play 1B. This only leaves room for 2 of the 3, and all 3 should be starters. Outlook: Aybar and Izturis would be a lot easier to acquire, yet they would all fill holes in the top of the order and at 3B. Could happen, especially if Morales looks like he is ready to come back and Trumbo's leg isn't bothering him.
My two choices would be Figgins or Izturis, but I would be more than fine with Aybar or Prado. Who do you think would be the best option, and why?