Despite being less than a month removed from the World Series, there’s already been a lot of action around the baseball world. Let’s recap the Tigers’ moves so far.
The Tigers began the offseason with a surprising subtraction from the organization when they waived Andy Dirks, who was picked up by the Blue Jays. Dirks’ performance varied from 2011-2013 but overall he was a solid outfielder in Detroit. He missed the entire 2014 season due to a back surgery and several hamstring issues during a rehab attempt. The release left many fans confused, but President and GM, Dave Dombrowski, explained that the team simply couldn’t rely on Dirks to be healthy in 2015.
The only trade of the young offseason also involved the Blue Jays, when the Tigers sent them their top prospect (according to Baseball America) Devon Travis for young center fielder Anthony Gose. Gose has not done much hitting at the major league level, but he is an elite defender with blinding speed on the bases, and at only 24-years-old he has plenty of room to improve. He might remind you more of Jose Iglesias than Austin Jackson, but he’s in line to get the bulk of playing time in center field in 2015.
The biggest splash of the "winter" so far was the re-signing of designated hitter Victor Martinez. Martinez spent the last four years with the Tigers – though one of them was lost to injury – and posted a .321/.381/.487 batting line. Martinez will be 36-years-old on Opening Day, so there are some concerns about whether the contract that guarantees him $68 million through 2018 will be worth the cost, but there’s no question that he has been a fantastic hitter in recent years.
The Tigers have also executed a couple under-the-radar moves to bolster the bullpen. They re-signed Joel Hanrahan to an incentive laden minor-league deal that will guarantee him $1 million if he makes the Tigers' team, and could net him up to $3.5 million total. Hanrahan was signed by the Tigers last May while he recovered from Tommy John surgery in hopes that he would be able to return to the field later in the season. They also selected right-hander Josh Zeid off of waivers, a high-octane reliever who hasn’t had very good results in his major league career thus far. To make room for Zeid on the 40-man roster, the Tigers designated Ezequiel Carrera for assignment.
Other than that, there have been a few rumors that the Tigers were listening to offers for Alex Avila, talking with the Astros about their catchers, and potentially thinking about trading David Price and re-signing Max Scherzer to replace him. However, nothing of substance has happened on any of these fronts.
So, while there may be some work left to do there’s still plenty of time to do it. How do you feel about how the Tigers have gone about assembling the 2015 team so far?