Front office messed up ‘17 Tigers
When the baseball historians file a 2017 report on the Detroit Tigers, it will be one filled with disaster.
The Tigers, once a legitimate contender for at least ten seasons, fell swiftly to the bottom of the league.
How bad were the Tigers this season? Well, they will get the top pick in next year’s draft for having the worst record in the majors.
Management had made a number of questionable decisions prior to this season.
Letting Cy Young winners Max Scherzer, David Price and Rick Porcello sign elsewhere — and getting little in return — was bad enough.
They also shipped Justin Verlander to Houston in August for a bunch of minor league prospects.
The team’s best hitter, J.D. Martinez, earlier went to Arizona for roughly the same value.
Both Verlander and Martinez have lit up the National League since arriving, the same thing Scherzer has done since leaving a couple of years ago.
Think of it, that’s four Cy Young winners who once called Detroit home.
Yes, I’m aware that keeping high-priced talent can almost be impossible nowadays.
But the Tigers signed Miguel Cabrera to long-term megabucks last season, even though it appears the slugger may be in the twilight of his career because of injuries and wear.
The garage sale Detroit pulled off with its best players created a minor league team in Motown over the last few weeks of the season.
Tigers fans are among the best in baseball, but they shouldn’t have been subjected to the kind of baseball that was on display.
Manager Brad Ausmus was given the axe near the end of the season, one of the few good moves made by the club.
Ausmus was handed a ready-to-go team three years ago and never did push the right buttons. Managing a bunch of millionaires is no easy task.
But the lack of fundamentals has been glaring in Detroit for years. Look at the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins and you can see what executing the basics can accomplish.
The new manager has a big job to make this into a competitive team.
There are a few pieces on hand. Nick Castellanos is an emerging slugger and catcher James McCann looks solid.
But the pitching is shaky, even though Michael Fulmer and Matthew Boyd have promise.
There are just too many question marks (high-priced signings Anibel Sanchez and Jordan Zimmerman) on the rest of the staff.
Look for a long rebuilding process in Detroit.
As for me, I’ll be rooting for all those ex-Tigers playing in the postseason this fall.