It's time to sell. Or reload. At least, that's what Detroit Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski is telling other teams. The Tigers placed calls on Wednesday and advised teams that they are "rebooting," and would be open to offers on David Price and Yoenis Cespedes. First reported by ESPN's Jayson Stark, Dombrowski confirmed with reporters after Wednesday's game that the team is in "sell" mode.
Furthermore, the Tigers are willing to discuss all walk-year players on their team, according to the New York Post's Joel Sherman. That puts Price, Cespedes, Alex Avila, Joakim Soria, Alfredo Simon, and Rajai Davis on the chopping block.
"We're looking at it more as rebooting going into next season," Dombrowski said. "I think our foundation is solid going forward. ... We're only going to make a trade if it makes sense for us," he added. "But we think it gives us a chance to restock our club.
The move is a logical one. The Tigers broke a three-game losing streak on Wednesday with a dominant Justin Verlander on the mound. But the win only moved the Tigers up to four games back in the second Wild Card spot, and seven back of the first. There have been multiple rumors bouncing around regarding the Tigers in recent days. First they were selling, then they were all-in, then the team was on the fence.
Many would consider this an unusual move for the Tigers as owner Mike Ilitch is not one to sell. However, Detroit's track record this season is not one that forecasts contention and the team currently sits in fourth place in the American League Central Division. A move of this nature required the Ilitch family to sign off, which took time -- and convincing.
The Tigers have a solid foundation, a dynamic offense, and three solid starters that are now clicking. But the bullpen woes and the lack of a stable rotation, coupled with injuries to key players has made this season a relative disaster. Being that Ilitch has so much invested in this team, the wise move long-term would be to trade as many pieces as they can, and get key players in return for the 2016 season and beyond.