By: Kurt Snyder & Holly Horning
As we head to the second half of the season, things get tougher for the Tigers. There will be a lot of pressure on the team as their results within the next couple weeks will determine any future moves.
So why would the questions in Part 3 of this series get any easier? They certainly haven’t. So we have our work cut out for us.
Part 3 – TIGERS’ FUTURE – NEAR AND PRESENT
1. Who will likely be traded before the end of the year?
Kurt – There is only one certain candidate for a trade and that is Alex Avila.
Who we do trade after that will be telling about the rest of the season and the plans for next.
Holly – The further the fall, the more players traded but at the very least, Avila and Cespedes, both free agents. If the future gets bleak or ugly, Rajai, Price, Simon – and maybe even Krol and Soria, all free agents except for Krol.
2. Will the Tigers be moving up in the standings, playing at .500 or falling below .500 in the second half?
Kurt – If Kansas City continues to play at the level they are, the Tigers won’t be moving anywhere but down. We have been waiting for another run since April but they can’t seem to move far from dead center.
Holly – I don’t want to think it, but they’ll be taking on water given their under-.500 performance for May, June and currently July. Everyone in the division is playing better and the Tigers’ upcoming competitors are tougher teams.
3. Which players will be safe from trading for this year and into 2016?
Kurt – The Tigers core. Miggy, Iggy, VMart, JD and Verlander are the players we will continue to build the team around.
Holly – In this day and age, no one is immune from being traded but Victor, JD, Iggy, Miggy and McCann offer “value added” and are essential to the foundation of this team. JV would also be immune given his uncertain recovery and huge contract coupled with a complete no-trade clause.
4. What is the best scenario for the Tigers this year: make a playoff run, hold a fire sale or start rebuilding?
Kurt – The best scenario is a playoff run, no question. It’s because of what will have transpired after the break. The team addressed their needs, began to thrive and became a tough out in the playoffs, winning Dombrowski an extension.
Holly – Playoff chances are very slim but carry a huge, long-lasting negative impact on future years. If the Tigers trade away all their free agents, they can start rebuilding this year, see where the missing pieces are, trade for them this winter and get back in the game next year.
5. What do you forecast for the team next year?
Kurt – It doesn’t have to be a rebuilding or a transition year. Good smart moves with their roster, supplementing the core they already have can keep them a contender; but it must include a new manager.
Holly – Given that this is the biggest transition year for the Tigers in almost a decade, it all depends upon two big moves. Multiple significant trades and a new manager and GM would increase the odds of a successful 2016, but if little changes, it will be a year of disappointing results.