The blockbuster trade pulled off by Tigers’ general manager Dave Dombrowski — which sent a disgruntled Prince Fielder to the Texas Rangers for second baseman Ian Kinsler — will most likely send ripples throughout the organization.
The trade opens up opportunities for the team financially, which were handicapped by Fielder’s paycheck before. The trade freed up about $76 million for the Tigers to spend on filling holes in the roster or to extend the contracts of superstars Miguel Cabrera and Max Scherzer.
Going into the offseason, the Tigers had positions to fill at second base, left field, and at the back of the bullpen. Second base has seemingly been filled with the arrival of Kinsler, which leaves left field and relief pitching yet to be addressed.
Some free agent outfielders who have been rumored to fit with the Tigers include Shin-Soo Choo, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, Curtis Granderson, and Nate McLouth. 97.1 The Ticket’s Mike Valenti believes that Dombrowski needs to stay far away from one of those players.
“Rumors are going around that (the Tigers) may drop $100 million on Choo,” Valenti said on his radio program Thursday. “Choo would be better than what they have in left field right now, no question. But five years and $100 million is just as bad as the contract you had before.”
Beltran has a reputation for hitting well in the postseason, something the Tigers have been severally lacking, posting a 0.333 career batting average in the playoffs. The Tigers could potentially sign Beltran and closer Nathan, who both made $9 million in 2013, for the same money that Scott Boras’ client, Choo, seems to be seeking.
No matter what moves are to come, the Tigers are in a position that they would not have been had Dombrowski not pulled the trigger on trading Fielder. Financial flexibility is more valuable than ever in today’s MLB.
Who do you believe the Tigers should target during the offseason? Or should the team spend the extra money on extending the contracts of Cabrera and Scherzer? Let us know in the comments below.