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Was the 2016 season a success for the Detroit Tigers?

The Tigers largely met expectations and had some great performances, but ultimately missed the playoffs again.

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to the 2016 season, a lot of pundits saw the Detroit Tigers as a mid-tier team in the American League. Some thought they would make the playoffs, others considered them among the favorites to win the AL Central. Many thought they would miss the postseason altogether. We didn’t do any statistical analysis of how many "experts" picked the Tigers to win something, but a lot of them projected an 80-something win season.

Well, here we are. The Tigers ultimately missed the playoffs, but gave it a heck of a run along the way. They won 86 games, which surpassed many sabermetric projections, but fell a couple wins shy of their fifth postseason berth since 2011. There were a lot of great moments and some very encouraging performances from young players along the way, but owner Mike Ilitch will go another winter without his ever-so-coveted Commissioner’s Trophy.

Here’s the $200 million question: was 2016 a success for the Tigers? Let’s break it down.


  • Michael Fulmer became The Fulminator, should win AL Rookie of the Year
  • Daniel Norris and Matt Boyd keeping the rotation afloat for months on end
  • Justin Verlander turned in a Cy Young caliber season
  • Miguel Cabrera
  • Victor Martinez had a solid bounce-back season
  • Justin Upton’s second half


  • Justin Upton’s first half
  • The baserunning and defense
  • Anibal Sanchez and Mike Pelfrey
  • Mike Aviles, Mark Lowe, and questionable offseason decisions
  • Jordan Zimmermann’s injury-riddled year


You decide: was 2016 a success for the Tigers?