Alright, free agent season is upon us. The Tigers were a couple of wins away from a World Series appearance and most of their key players will be back this year. Still, Dave Dombrowski has some work to do because the Tigers had some serious holes come playoff time. Let’s take a look…..
Catcher – Alex Avila is the starter for sure as he should be after an awesome season but he just seemed to hit a wall. While his September wasn’t awful, he did have his second worst slugging month and then he laid an egg in the postseason. I think a big reason behind this is because he was catching every game down the stretch. One guy that comes to mind if we can get him for the right price is Ivan Rodriguez but there’s plenty of guys out there who could fill this role and not hit the pocket book to hard.
Second base – This one is going to be tricky. The Tigers will most likely bring back Ramon Santiago but he’ll be a utility infielder again. I’m not sure if they’re willing to give Wil Rhymes another go but he may not be a bad choice and I don’t think Ryan Raburn is the answer either. I’ve heard Aaron Hill’s name tossed around and that wouldn’t be bad if we again, get him at the right price. If they look within, there’s also Danny Worth and coming soon will be Brandon Douglas, who had a decent season at Erie.
Right Field – I haven’t heard much as to whether Brennan Boesch will be ready to play on opening day or not so this is a spot the Tigers have to think about. My guess is, this is one of the last spots they fill as they see how some of their farm hands do in spring training as well as monitoring Boesch’s progress. If they want to make a big splash, Carlos Beltran is out there and a second tier guy is Michael Cuddyer. If the Tigers wanted to go with a cheaper Free Agent option, David DeJesus might not be a bad guy to pick up if you assume 2011 was a blip. Jason Kubel was hurt last year but he may be another guy the Tigers look at although having him in right and Young in left would mean Austin Jackson would have his work cut out for him.
Fifth Starter – This may end up being Jacob Turner but the Tigers may sign another guy like Brad Penny (not him, but an older, veteran guy) to a one year deal. A guy who might make sense if you figure Turner is there to fill in would be Erik Bedard although he may be looking for a longer term deal.
Middle Relief – Lots of options here. Frank Francisco would make a nice addition but there’s plenty of guys the Tigers should be looking to fill in those spots where they didn’t have help in the post season.
So it should be a fun free agent season. Barring a big trade which I don’t see, the Tigers won’t be picking up any of the big guns but there should definitely be some activity.