Tigers face critical offseason
The Detroit Tigers are facing a critical offseason, one that could well dictate their future for years.
The team made a decent run for a playoff spot before falling short in the final weekend when they couldn’t win two out of three games against the lowly Atlanta Braves.
As for the American League Central Division, they showed they were pretty far behind the Cleveland Indians.
And if you can’t win the division, you’re not going to get too far.
One of the more puzzling recent moves was releasing outfielder Cameron Maybin.
Now, Maybin isn’t a great centerfielder by any means, but he did hit over .300 this past season.
More importantly, he provided enthusiasm for a team that doesn’t always have a lot of that commodity.
Yet, just letting Maybin go isn’t going to solve Detroit’s problems.
It’s going to take a real eye brow-raising move, say like trading Miguel Cabrera.
Now, some people are going to argue that no team can afford to let a true superstar like Cabrera go.
But the fact is some teams, notably in the National League, would agree to part with some real talent in order to get the power-hitting first sacker.
The Washington Nationals just might be that team. Even with some good talent on hand, Washington can’t seem to get over the hump because they need another big stick in the lineup.
If the Tigers could pry another starting pitcher (Max Scherzer would do) and a good hitting outfielder from the Nationals, that would prop up an already solid lineup.
Getting rid of Anibel Sanchez is another must.
Victor Martinez, although a good hitter, is another factor that slows the middle of the lineup because of his lack of speed.
The Tigers need to look at the formula used by the Indians and the Chicago Cubs for success. And that is putting an emphasis on speed and defense.
With the winter baseball meetings currently going on, the Tigers need to get busy. It remains to be seen if GM Al Avila will do that.