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Detroit Tigers Links: ESPN wants the Tigers to rebuild

The Worldwide Leader thinks it’s time for the Tigers to pack it in.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Detroit Tigers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

We don’t often do this on weekends, but a few things worth sharing came across the wire on Friday.

They want us to what?

ESPN’s David Schoenfield didn’t pull any punches in his latest article, declaring that the Detroit Tigers are one of three American League teams who should throw in the towel and rebuild. He notes a few issues we’ve known about for years now, like age and a lack of depth, and lists all the big-money contracts on the Tigers’ books in the coming years. He is a bit harsh in some areas — Nick Castellanos is a perfectly serviceable third baseman now, thank you very much — but we’ve read these critiques several times over. Even our colleagues at the SB Nation mothership are counting down the days until the Tigers tear it all down.

The problem here is Schoenfield’s assertion that the Tigers should rebuild now. Never mind that FanGraphs projects them for an 83-79 record in 2017, just one game behind a logjam at 84-78 for the two AL Wild Card spots. Baseball Prospectus’ third-order win percentage suggests that the 2016 Tigers might have even been a bit unlucky, with only three AL teams faring better last season. Sure, the Tigers might be a healthy margin behind the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central, but they are right in the thick of a crowded AL playoff picture.

Your 2017 center fielders are...

...all in the organization right now, it seems. The two remaining free agents worth mentioning, Austin Jackson and Peter Bourjos, signed with the Indians and White Sox this week, respectively. Both players signed minor league deals, and are likely just around for depth. The Indians will hope Tyler Naquin can repeat his excellent rookie season in 2017, while the White Sox seem happy with 24-year-old Charlie Tilson. That hasn’t stopped some fans from getting irrationally excited about what Jackson has done in the past, though.

It’s not politics, it’s just awesome

The internet went nuts last week when Senator Ted Cruz dunked on Deadspin with a series of well-timed tweets. BYB editor emeritus Ian Casselberry helpfully points out that the internet never forgets.

Have you ranked MLB’s teams yet?

We want to know who everyone loves and hates. If you’re ready to list them from 1-30 (again, no ties!), click on over to the FanPosts.

Anthony Gose is still here, by the way

He cleared waivers this week and was assigned to Triple-A Toledo. Given his poor performance in 2016 and documented tuff with then-Mud Hens manager Lloyd McClendon, this seemed like a good time to sneak him through waivers.

For your free time

Here’s another idea for the Rockies to form a competitive pitching staff. My suggestion: find more guys like this. Is Minnie Minoso a Hall of Famer? A’s fans might be starting to tire of Billy Beane. Baseball and tobacco: a history. The Dodgers signed Ike Davis.

Baseball will break your heart

The countdown is on