Free agency begins on Saturday and everyone is making their free agent predictions, including the Bless You Boys staff. For a full list of free agent players, go to MLB Trade Rumors as well as their free agent tracker page.
Personally, I, as well as most Detroit Tigers fans, listed pitching as a top priority. I would like to see the Tigers acquire two starting pitchers and as many as three to four relievers. Jordan Zimmermann and Scott Kazmir are my top starting pitching targets and Darren O’Day and Tony Sipp are my top bullpen targets. The Tigers clearly lacked depth and were forced to bring up pitchers such as Buck Farmer up way too early and sign Randy Wolf to eat some (not quality) innings. Therefore, I’d like to see them take some fliers on bounce back players such as Brandon Morrow and Justin Masterson, who could fill in as either rotation or bullpen options on the cheap.
I don’t see them spending big money on the outfield, so no Yoenis Cespedes or Alex Gordon. I think Tyler Collins will be the everyday leftfielder and they’ll find another player similar to Rajai Davis to platoon with Anthony Gose in centerfield.
FanGraphs lists their top 50 free agents with former Tiger David Price topping the list. Dave Cameron predicted that the Tigers will sign starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen at 4 years/$64 million, and reunite with centerfielder Austin Jackson at 2 years/$24 million.
Cameron also predicts where former Tigers will end up: Price signs with the Red Sox (7 years/$215 million), Cespedes with the Rangers (7 years/$150 million) and Alex Avila with the rival White Sox (2 years/$5 million). Yes, Avila is considered a top 50 free agent.
Tony Paul of the Detroit News also lists his top 50 free agents. He predicts Jeff Samardzija (5 years/$78 million), Chris Young (2 years/$16 million), Joakim Soria (3 years/$24 million) and Rajai Davis (2 years/$10 million) will sign with the Tigers.
Grant Brisbee also lists the top 40 free agents for SB Nation, but without the predictions.
Ciff Corcoran at Sports Illustrated previewed the AL Central and also listed starting pitching and the outfield as top targets. Corcoran believes that anyone other than Price, Johnny Cueto, Zack Greinke or Jordan Zimmermann will be a disappointment. He also lists O’Day and Sipp as bullpen options, however doesn’t see Tyler Clippard as a fit. Just like with FanGraphs, Austin Jackson is listed to fix the outfield but ultimately the pitching should be fixed first.
A Plan For The 2016 Tigers - New English D, Neil Weinberg
Neil predicts the Tigers will acquire Ben Zobrist (4 years/$80 million) and one of Peter Bourjos (trade), Chris Young or Austin Jackson for the outfield, John Jaso for the bench. Tyson Ross (trade) and one of Mat Latos/Doug Fister will be added to the rotation and Darren O'Day, Joe Blanton and Oliver Perez to the bullpen.
Detroit Tigers Rumors: Team Interested In Signing Second-Tier Free Agents - Tigs Town, Robbie Goldman
Robbie lists Ian Kennedy, Scott Kazmir, Jeff Samardzija, Wei-Yin Chen and Yovani Gallardo as second-tier free agent targets.
Tigers' Avila looking for homegrown answers for bullpen fix - Detroit News, Chris McCosky
The interesting thing about this article is that the Tigers are (maybe) considering moving Shane Greene, Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa into the bullpen for 2016 (but not necessarily beyond).
The Wait for Nick Castellanos Will Soon Be Over - FanGraphs, Eno Sarris
Castellanos showed improvements in the second half that could translate to a breakout year in 2016.
The 2015 American League Gold Gloves, by the Numbers - FanGraphs, August Fagerstrom
Statistically speaking, Ian Kinsler and Yoenis Cespedes should win American League Gold Glove awards.
Players Prefer Presentation: Post-Moneyball's Clubability - Baseball Prospectus, Megan Rowley
Is diversity in baseball a threat to the new membership club? Friend of the site (and Lookout Landing contributor) Meg Rowley makes her Baseball Prospectus debut.
The Way-Too-Early 2016 Power Rankings - ESPN, David Schoenfield
The Tigers rank 20th, so Al Avila has a lot of work to do to move up.
In final analysis, the best choice as Dodgers manager would be ... Dave Roberts - LA Times, Bill Plaschke
The Dodgers are the only team left without a manager for the 2016 season. Gabe Kapler was considered the frontrunner, but that has seemingly shifted to Dave Roberts now. Kirk Gibson has also interviewed for the job.
A new era: The Phillies are finally going to embrace sabermetrics - Big League Stew - Yahoo Sports, Chris Cwik
Welcome to the 21st century, Phillies.
Mariners, Rays swap Brad Miller, Nathan Karns in six-player trade - MLB Daily Dish, Chris Cotillo
And the offseason officially begins!