There are differing opinions on what the Detroit Tigers will do in left field for the 2016 season. Will the team simply fill the void with utility players and play matchups throughout the season? Could they possibly stand pat, content with Tyler Collins and Cameron Maybin? Or are they actually lurking in wait for one of the bigger fish?
Whatever the choice is, it will reveal a lot about how the Tigers will operate moving forward. Taking the dive on Yoenis Cespedes, Alex Gordon or even Justin Upton would be a departure from what we thought we learned from Al Avila. He has already stated that the team was out of the sweepstakes and a signing this late would be a return to Dombrowski tendencies of playing moves very close to the vest. Fans could expect some unpredictability to return to the teams' moves.
Additionally, the Tigers would be capped from nearly all flexibility for the foreseeable future. Very few contracts would be movable, and the team would have little money to spend in the majority of the next two to three offseasons.
A splash that big seems unlikely, but Lynn Henning outlines why it would be so important to next years title chances. Also:
Just remember. pic.twitter.com/TC5MIXWU87— Patrick Whelan (@PdiddyWay) December 16, 2015
Not making a major move, such as filling out the bench with utility options or standing pat with a Collins-Maybin platoon, indicates that the team has just about peaked on its spending. That limit had been growing at an unsustainable pace, and it is only a matter of time before the Tigers will cap out.
That said, it would also leave the Tigers a bit more flexible for mid-level signings in the future. Replacements for Ian Kinsler and center field will be needed before we know it, and the Tigers would be able to target more productive options with a cheaper player in left.
Meet the new Tigers...again.
More profiles for your brain. Mark Lowe and Justin Wilson took a long roads to their current destination in Detroit. With Lowe nearly out of baseball and Wilson constantly on the move, it will be a story book ending for them to save the Tigers bullpen. Which is definitely happening. Meanwhile, here is a quick recap of all the new faces on the squad. Avila has put in some work.
Finalizing the Roster
The Tigers signed 17 minor-league free agents to help fill out their farm system, providing even more pitching depth. The spring training invitees are highlighted by Drake Britton, Preston Guilmet, and Lendy Castillo. Britton pitched for the Red Sox in 2013 and 2014 while Guilmet pitched 5 major league games for the Rays and Brewers last season. With regards to Castillo, I just like that his first name is Lendy.