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MLB rumors: Yoenis Cespedes, Alex Gordon draw Tigers' interest

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Starting pitching? Check. Relief pitching? Check. Outfield help? The Tigers are still checking.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Al Avila was probably the kid in school who got all his work done early. With a list of needs that included starting pitching, relief pitching and outfielders, the Tigers managed to post improvements across the board before the winter meetings even opened in Nashville. But there's still the matter of a hole in left field. And the money burning through owner Mike Ilitch's pocket.

Avila might not be done yet. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports Alex Gordon -- who ranked as No. 2 on BYB's list of most-desired free agents -- and Yoenis Cespedes are drawing Detroit's interest.

Of course, there's a little competition there still from the state of Missouri.

BYB's staff on the whole prefers Gordon because he's expected to come at a cheaper price while giving the Tigers superb defense in left field and a solid bat.

Alex Gordon
Year PA HR RBI BA OBP SLG wRC+ BB% K% UZR/150 DRS fWAR
2015 422 13 48 .271 .377 .432 122 11.6 21.8 10.5 7 2.8
Steamer 643 18 73 .271 .355 .432 115 10.0 20.9 - - 3.9
Career 4818 134 523 .269 .348 .435 113 9.7 20.8 12.7 97 29.7

Not that we'd say no to Cespedes, who made a strong case for an All-Star appearance with Detroit last year before putting up an MVP-quality showing in his two months with the Mets after being traded July 31. He posted a combined slash line of .291/.328/.542/ .870 for the two teams.

The Tigers have been busy in the past week, with the official signing of starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann last Monday, the addition of starter Mike Pelfrey and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia over the weekend, and today's bringing of Mark Lowe to Detroit as setupman.

In November the Tigers acquired closer Francisco Rodriguez and outfield project Cameron Maybin by trade.