Welcome to the third installment of the Bless You Boys Detroit Tigers Offseason Plan Project.
Originally introduced by our friends at Sox Machine (formerly South Side Sox), the offseason plan project is a chance for you to play general manager. We will lay out the template for the moves that have to be made (or not made) this offseason, and you get the chance to decide the future of the franchise. We have received a number of great responses the last couple times we foisted this project upon you, and we are expecting great results again this year.
In fact, this offseason might be even better. The Tigers’ plans for revamping their roster this winter seem modest, but ours don’t have to be. With a few premium free agents hitting the market this winter and a number of players already jettisoned off the roster — or not, it’s your decision! — the 2020 Tigers are something of a blank slate right now, perfect for you to make any changes you see fit.
If you’re new to this, welcome. The template below starts by tying up loose ends on the Tigers roster. Many of these players have already had their respective fates determined in real life, but this project is 100 percent yours. Trades and signings are now your call, and you have the entire league and free agent market at your disposal.
First, some tips and instructions.
Copy and paste the template into a FanPost. If you have not written a FanPost before, you will need two things: (1) an active SB Nation account registered at BYB (the “join” button is at the bottom of this post), and (2) the link to the FanPost section, which can also be found on the right side of our home page.
Cot’s Baseball Contracts has the Tigers’ payroll obligations. There is no payroll cap on this fun little endeavor, but try to keep things semi-realistic. The Tigers aren’t going to suddenly bust out a $300 million payroll next season.
MLB Trade Rumors has a list of the 2018-19 MLB free agents. Remember that some of these players have contract options that will be exercised (Anthony Rizzo ain’t going anywhere), so use your best judgment to determine which players will actually be available on the free agent market.
Be realistic. This doesn’t mean you have to sign two bargain bin free agents and call it a day. It just means that your post won’t be taken very seriously if you sign Anthony Rendon to a one-year, $10 million deal because he “seems like a team player.”
Get creative. This probably won’t be a problem for you guys — it certainly wasn’t last time around — but unique responses increase your chances of your post landing on the front page.
Ask questions. If you don’t understand something, just ask! Salary rules can be complicated, and even we have to rely on Patrick’s wisdom at times. Use the comments below to shoot us any questions you have, or drop them in the comments of any other offseason plans you see.
Have fun! This goes more for those commenting on other offseason plans. We want to use these posts as a way to jump into offseason discussion about what moves the Tigers could potentially make this winter. It takes some guts to put your ideas out there on a public forum like this, so please keep that in mind when reading and commenting on something you might not agree with.
[Insert your name]’s Offseason Plan
You can choose to offer the following players the contracts listed below for the 2020 season or non-tender them (i.e. not offer them a contract and allow them to leave as a free agent). The salaries listed are based on MLB Trade Rumors’ arbitration projections. Feel free to explain any of your tougher decisions.
- Matthew Boyd: $6.4 million
- Daniel Norris: $2.9 million
- Michael Fulmer: $2.8 million
- Blaine Hardy: $1.8 million
- John Hicks: $1.7 million
- JaCoby Jones: $1.4 million
- Buck Farmer: $1.1 million
- Drew VerHagen: $900,000
- Daniel Stumpf: $800,000
Contract options (pick up or buy out)
Pending free agents (re-sign or let go)
- Jordy Mercer: made $5.25 million in 2019
- Tyson Ross: $5.75 million
- Matt Moore: $2.5 million
- Josh Harrison*: $2 million
- Gordon Beckham: $700,000
*Harrison was released earlier this season, but we’ll include him because he was on the team for most of the year.
If you choose to sign any free agents, name the player(s), the maximum contract offer you would extend to them, and a brief explanation. Here’s an example:
Alex Avila (two year, $12 million): The Tigers could use a veteran catcher to pair with Jake Rogers, and Avila knows the club better than anyone else. He has already been through two tours of duty with the Tigers, and would be a welcome addition to the roster — both as a mentor for Rogers, and someone who can help mold and develop a young pitching staff. The walk rate is pretty nice too.
If you choose to trade any players, propose a deal that sounds reasonable for both sides — and be sure to add in the return. There aren’t many Tigers with no-trade protection remaining after the team’s recent sell-off, but check Cot’s Contracts if you aren’t sure. Here’s an example:
Trade Michael Fulmer to the New York Yankees for Clint Frazier: This deal, in various forms, has been rumored in years past, but never came together. Now that the Tigers have a couple more viable starters in the fold (Spencer Turnbull, Joey Wentz) since this trade was last rumored, picking up Frazier — who still can’t seem to gain any traction in New York — makes some sense for both sides.
It’s one thing to list all the moves you want to make, but like seventh grade math class, you should show your work! More detail makes for a more interesting FanPost, and thus more commentary. We’ll be sure to promote the more thoughtful efforts to the front page over the next few weeks. And have fun!