clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The all-former Tigers team might be good enough to beat the actual Tigers

New, comments

One man's trash is another man's treasure, and a team of former Tigers would be pretty good.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a few seasons since we scoured the rosters of other Major League Baseball clubs to come up with the very best former Detroit Tigers. Recent seasons have seen the departure of many All-Star caliber players who have gone on to do very well for themselves on other teams. So, here is a nostalgic compilation of the best that Detroit once had to offer.

First base: Prince Fielder, Texas Rangers

After missing almost the entire 2014 season due to a neck injury, Prince rebounded with a monster season for Texas, batting .305/.378/.473 for an .841 OPS, good for 13th in the 2015 AL MVP voting.

Second base: Devon Travis, Toronto Blue Jays

Travis hit .304/.361/.498 with eight homers in just 238 plate appearances while playing solid defense, making Tigers fans think twice about the trade for Anthony Gose. Travis, a former 13th round pick and top Tigers' prospect, has done well.

Shortstop: Jhonny Peralta, St. Louis Cardinals

Still one of the best offensive shortstops in the game, Peralta hit .275/ .344/ .411 with 17 home runs for the Cardinals in 2015. He made another All-Star appearance just one year after finishing in the top 15 in NL MVP voting.

Third base: Eugenio Suarez, Cincinnati Reds

Okay, Suarez is a shortstop, but there aren't any notable former Tigers' third basemen around the game since Brandon Inge retired after a swan song in Oakland. Maybe Jefry Marte will come through and make an impact for the Angels in a few years.

Left field: Yoenis Cespedes, New York Mets

Cespedes only spent four months as a Tiger, then moved onto New York with a Gold Glove nomination and postseason heroics to follow. Now, he is busy hunting waffles.

Center field: Austin Jackson, free agent

There is no telling where the beloved former Tigers center fielder will land in 2016, maybe not even on a major league roster. He has not fared well since his sentimental departure following the trade for David Price sent him to Seattle.

Right field: Curtis Granderson, New York Mets

The former Tigers' center fielder has been playing a corner outfield spot in recent years. He posted a .364 on-base percentage with 26 home runs, 98 runs scored, and 5.1 WAR in 2015.

Catcher: Alex Avila

Now with the Chicago White Sox, Avila appears in line to start most games for the Tigers' division rivals, as long as he stays healthy. He should at least know how to pitch Detroit's hitters.

Starting Pitcher: David Price, Red Sox

Price is simply one of the best in the game, and it was great to have him in Detroit for a season. He has now rejoined Dave Dombrowski in Boston, where he will be expected to win at least 50 games [Ed.: By June 1] and carry their rotation.

Starting Pitcher: Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals

Scherzer may be the best right-handed pitcher in the National League, although the Nationals didn't live up to expectations in his first season in the nation's capital. He's currently on a Hall of Fame path.

Starting Pitcher: Doug Fister, Houston Astros

After going 16-6 with a 2.41 ERA in his first year with the Nationals, Fister was injured and battered with a 4.19 ERA  in 2015, finishing the season in the bullpen. He was forced to settle for a one-year deal with the Astros to rebuild his value.

Starting pitcher: Drew Smyly, Tampa Bay Rays

After going 8-3 with a 2.52 ERA for the Rays between 2014 and 2015, Smyly found himself on the disabled list with a bum shoulder. He won his arbitration case against the club and will be back in 2016.

Starting Pitcher: Colby Lewis, Texas Rangers

Lewis only pitched three innings for Detroit in the major leagues, but a 17-9, 4.66 ERA, and 4.16 FIP in 204 innings for the Rangers in 2015 lands Lewis a spot in this team's rotation until Smyly returns from the DL.

Starting pitcher: Rick Porcello, Boston Red Sox

A 4.17 FIP suggests that Kid Rick's 4.92 ERA in 2015 was artificially inflated. You have to wonder what Boston's new general manager thinks about his four year, $82.5 million contract.

Relief pitcher: Joakim Soria, Kansas City Royals

The Tigers' former closer returns to Kansas City, where it all began for him. He will be replacing Greg Holland in the Royals bullpen and will try to keep the team's relief corps Ned Yost-proof.

Relief pitcher: Andrew Miller, New York Yankees

The former Tigers first round pick was traded to Florida in the deal for Miguel Cabrera, and is now the Yankees' closer. It took him a few years, but he finally found his niche (and a big contract).

Relief pitcher: Cory Knebel, Milwaukee Brewers

The Tigers dealt Knebel to the Rangers with Jake Thompson for Joakim Soria. After being traded from Texas to Milwaukee for Yovani Gallardo, Knebel pitched 50 innings in relief for the Brewers in 2015 with a 3.22 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 10.58 strikeouts per nine innings. He still looks like a future closer.

Relief pitcher: Fernando Rodney, San Diego Padres

Don't look now, but Rodney could be the closer in San Diego to start the season. Huston Street, Craig Kimbrel, Luke Gregerson, and Joaquin Benoit are all out of the way. A 4.72 ERA between Seattle and the Cubs in 2015 wasn't impressive, but another 62 innings are in the books for the 38-year-old righthander.

Relief pitcher: Joaquin Benoit, Seattle Mariners

With former Mariner Rodney going to San Diego, it makes sense that Benoit would wind up in Seattle. What if the Tigers had kept Benoit instead of signing Joe Nathan?  But then, what if Joaquin never threw that hanging vulcan changeup to David Ortiz in 2013?

Relief pitcher: Casey Fien, Minnesota Twins

Once released by the Tigers, Fien found his way to Minnesota and has become a valuable member of the Twins' bullpen in a setup role.

Relief Pitcher: Jose Alvarez, Los Angeles Angels

After being dealt to the Angels for Andrew Romine, Alvarez has settled in as a solid left-handed option for manager Mike Scoscia.

Bench: OF Avisail Garcia, IF Omar Infante, C Brayan Pena, OF Ryan Raburn

Honorable mention: RHP Alfredo Simon, RHP Burke Badenhop, RHP Al Alburquerque