It’s always fun to take a look around the major leagues and see how former Tigers’ players are doing. As we put together the all former Tigers team roster, we find plenty of pitching and several good hitters with a few holes in the lineup. Here is our 2017 All former Tigers’ team:
Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals: Max declined a lucrative contract extension from Detroit and later signed a $214 million contract with Washington. He would be the ace of most rotations. The Tigers received a supplemental first round draft pick which was used to select Christin Stewart.
Rick Porcello, Boston Red Sox: The reigning American League Cy Young winner was dealt before the 2015 season for Yoenis Cespedes and Alex Wilson. Cespedes was dealt at the trade deadline for pitchers Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa. Cessa was in turn flipped to the Yankees for reliever Justin Wilson.
David Price is the third former Tiger, former Cy Young winner, also now of the Boston Red Sox. Price started the season on the disabled list, and hasn’t quite regained his old momentum. The Tigers have Daniel Norris and Matt Boyd in his stead, both earning the minimum salary.
Robbie Ray was acquired in the trade that sent Doug Fister to Washington, and was sent to Arizona for Shane Greene before he could settle into the rotation in Detroit. Ray has since become a Cy Young candidate for the Diamondbacks,
Luis Cessa was acquired for Cespedes and sent to the Yankees for Wilson. Both Cessa and Chad Green, who accompanied him in the trade for Justin Wilson, have seen time in the Yankees’ rotation and bullpen.
Drew Smyly was sent to the Tampa Bay Rays for Price. He was subsequently flipped to Seattle and has spent the entire 2017 season on the disabled list following Tommy John elbow surgery.
Nine former Tigers relief pitchers are in eighth or ninth inning roles around the major leagues.
Fernando Rodney is still closing games for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and has picked up 20 saves, including a couple of against Detroit this season. He logged 48 saves for Tampa Bay and the same number for Seattle since leaving the Tigers.
Neftali Feliz was picked up by the Tigers after being released by Texas. Detroit did not tender him a contract offer to stay. After closing games in Milwaukee to start the season, he was released and signed with the Kansas City Royals to fill a set up role.
Cory Knebel began the season backing up Feliz with the Brewers and has now taken over the closing role. The former supplemental first round pick by Detroit was traded with Jake Thompson for Joakim Soria. He is one of the better pitchers on the all former Tigers’ roster.
Andrew Miller has played for Florida, Baltimore, Boston, the Yankees, and is now thriving with Cleveland as an elite relief pitcher. To say he’s done well since leaving Detroit would be an understatement.
Jim Johnson came to the Tigers after being released with 52 saves a year previous. With Detroit, he stunk up the joint and was let go. Well, now he’s closing games for the Atlanta Braves, and doing very well.
Joaquin Benoit was a set up man for the Tigers for two seasons before being given the closer’s role in 2013. He is now part of the Phillies’ “closer by committee” and is setting up when not pitching the ninth inning.
Joakim Soria was traded to Pittsburgh for outfielder JaCoby Jones, who is currently in Triple-A Toledo, with the expectation he will be a future centerfielder for Detroit. Soria hit the free agent market and secured a three year deal for $8 million per year. He is now setting up for Kelvin Herrera in Kansas City.
Jason Grilli was closing games for the Toronto Blue Jays but was recently DFA’d, and is now with the Texas Rangers.
Jose Alvarez was traded by Detroit to the Angels for Andrew Romine, getting plenty of work as a set up man in Anaheim.
Catcher: Jarrod Saltalamacchia had 26 plate appearances with the Blue Jays this season and is now at Triple-A Buffalo. Alex Avila, Bobby Wilson, and Bryan Holaday are all back in the Tigers’ system. Brayan Pena began the season at triple-A in the Royals’ system, but that’s about it for catchers.
First base: Jefry Marte has filled in for Albert Pujols at the premier sack in Anaheim times this season, while also getting limited time at third base and left field. After logging 282 plate appearances with 15 home runs in 2016, he has struggled and been sent to Salt Lake this year. Ryan Raburn has hit .283/.340/.413 in 50 plate appearances for Washington in 2017.
Second base: Devon Travis has been starting at the keystone position for the Blue Jays since the Tigers dealt their former No. 1 prospect to Toronto for Anthony Gose. In his third season with the Jays, he has a slash line of .259/.291/.438 with five homers, 24 RBI and four steals. Health has been his biggest issue, as Travis is currently on the disabled list.
Shortstop: Hernan Perez was out of options and getting no playing time in Detroit when he was claimed off waivers by Milwaukee. He has played every position except catcher for the Brewers, hitting .268 with 23 home runs over the past two seasons.
Third base: Eugenio Suarez was sent with former first rounder Jonathan Crawford to Cincinnati for Alfredo Simon. He has 46 home runs and 162 RBI for the Reds in a season and a half. He is starting at third base.
Outfield: Yoenis Cespedes was dealt by the Tigers to the New York Mets at the trade deadline in 2015 for Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa, who was subsequently flipped to the Yankees for Justin Wilson. Cespedes now has a four year contract with the Mets that pays over $27 million per year, the highest average annual value ever given to an outfielder.
Outfield: Cameron Maybin was sent to the Los Angeles Angels for a minor league pitcher, and he has thrived in the Angels’ outfield. The former Tigers’ first round draft pick has a wOBA of .354 with six homers, 22 steals, and a fWAR of 1.8.
Outfield: Curtis Granderson is now a veteran of 13 major league seasons at age 36, in the last year of his contract with the New York Mets. He plays all three outfield positions and hits for more power than average at this stage of his career.
Designated Hitter: Avisail Garcia finally has broken out with the White Sox. “Little Miggy” had struggled in Chicago, but now sports a batting line of .310/.353/.497 with eleven home runs and a wOBA of .392 and earned a 2017 All-Star nod. The Tigers received Jose Iglesias in the three-way trade that sent John Lackey to Boston in 2013.
The Bench: Austin Jackson is batting .292 and slugging .500 in a limited role with the Indians. Rajai Davis stole 43 bases in a platoon role with Cleveland last season, but his production has tailed off this year in Oakland. Gorkys Hernandez is getting time in all three outfield positions for the San Francisco Giants. All three players have played center field this season. Matt Joyce has hit .220/.330/.409 with eleven home runs for the Oakland A’s in 2017.