Early last week the Tigers made a few announcements on the roster in 2013. I think that there are a few more options that the Tigers need to do to repeat as AL Champs and hopefully better results in the World Series.
1. Decide what to do about the corner outfield
Dombrowski said that he isn’t sure if Andy Dirks is an everyday player and I don’t think that Avisail Garcia is either. If the two are to be platooned that leaves on position open via free agency or trade. Numerous options are out there right now, but the best option could be my next point:
2. Make an offer to Josh Hamilton
Rumors are that Hamilton is asking for seven years and $175 million, but I think that most teams are going to be fearful of giving a commitment that big to an injury-prone guy like Hamilton, who has other obvious issues. I would be welcome to bringing this guy to Detroit for three years and $50-65 million. I think we could get him at a discount because of the ability to hit in front of or right behind the heart of our order.
If he really wants a seven-year deal he’s going to have to go to a team like the Cubs and not have a chance of making the playoffs. Or come to the Tigers for less and have a chance at a World Series title or three, up to him.
3. Figure out who is going to be the closer
The Tigers think they have an elite arm in Bruce Rondon and Bryan Villarreal, but both are very young and inexperienced. If the Tigers wish to stick with those two throughout the season they still need to make some sort of signing to bolster the bullpen. Depending on if they feel they need to sign a veteran closer I would go after Rafael Soriano who pitched well in New York with 42 saves and an ERA of 2.26.
4. Determine who is going to be the fifth starter
Detroit hopes to resign Anibal Sanchez to be the fourth starter, and if that happens the race for the fifth starter will come down to Rick Porcello and Drew Smyly. Dombrowski said that Smyly is seen more as a starter than a reliever despite his solid performance in the playoffs coming out of the bullpen.
If Smyly were to be a starter over Porcello then the Tigers may offer him as trade bait for an outfielder or help out of the bullpen. Either way it should be an interesting competition throughout spring training.
5. Ask the Rangers about Elvis Andrus
Before picking up the option on Jhonny Peralta this was higher on my list, but I still think they need to talk to Texas about potentially acquiring Andrus. The Rangers have Andrus blocking one of the best prospects in MLB in Jurickson Profar at shortstop and should be willing to part with Andrus this offseason or the next.
If the Tigers are able to make a deal work I would either move Andrus to second base this season and then allow him to take over at the shortstop position after Peralta’s contract expires. Andrus is still young at only 24 and is still coming into his own and would excel at the top of this order, with or without Josh Hamilton.
With these decisions to be made I think that this is going to be one of the more exciting off-seasons for the Tigers in recent history. With this team so close to being able to win the World Series, the Tigers cannot take a step back now.
So what do you think fans, will these changes fix the Tigers or are there other options that need to be explored? Let us know at @DSBloggers on Twitter or on Facebook or in the comments below to tell us what you, the fans, think