By: Kurt Snyder
As we get closer to the Royals World Championship, it’s quite evident that our team has a lot of work to do to achieve Totally Tigers predetermined goal for them: to win a World Title in 2017.
2016 will be all about getting this team back in the conversation. So take a look at my 20 thoughts on the 2016 Tigers. Let me know if I am echoing any of your sentiments. But also let me know if you think I am totally nuts. Keep in mind, though, that I already know.
1. Great news on Daniel Norris. Regardless of anything the Tigers do in the off-season, this is more important.
2. I would trade Castellanos for pitching of any kind. But you don’t give him away. He has value, so they need value in return.
3. I don’t understand at all the willingness, already, to trade Jose Iglesias. Too many people are putting too much stock in that one day he lost his composure. He is a great talent. Be careful who you let walk away.
4. Is Bruce Rondon worthy of another chance with the Tigers next season? Yes. Remember, great arm; you give him every opportunity. But he’s on the clock, no question about that.
5. Strike anything good I had to say about Alfredo Simon. Good bye.
6. As much as we need to rebuild the pen, I think it’s time that Alburquerque pack his bags. We need pitchers in the pen who have more metal. Rebuilding is not always about additions, subtractions help as well.
7. Did you see enough of an emergence from Justin Verlander to ordain him the ace of the staff once again? We had better hope.
8. If nothing else, the aggressive “pitch inside” philosophy of our new pitching coach should get us into some fights with the Royals next season.
9. I would lead off Jose Iglesias next season.
10. Who would have thought the Pistons would retire numbers 1 and 3 before the Tigers?
11. Does anyone have any idea how difficult it is to be optimistic about improving the team when Brad Ausmus is still the manager? Pretty stinkin’ difficult!
12. The Tigers need to find 40 games next season to get Miguel Cabrera off the field. He’s got to DH a lot more … a lot.
13. The Tigers signing JD Martinez to a new contract is important off-season business.
14. Next year’s lineup should start with JD batting cleanup.
15. Joakim Soria will be a Tiger next season.
16. What would you say if the Tigers signed Ben Zobrist? I would play him at third, left field, short, second and he can DH. Here’s hoping he doesn’t like the Royals enough to want to stay there.
17. The Tigers went into 2015 with no leaders to speak of. They will enter 2016 with 2.
18. The most difficult roster spot to fill in the off-season will be closer. This makes the return of Joakim Soria even more important should the Tigers choose someone who doesn’t work out.
19. What are the chances that Brad Ausmus will make it through next season? I think 100%. But, a new manager is a must for a run at the title in 2017. Which I think is the plan anyway.
20. If Daniel Norris is the Tigers 5th starter next season; it will mean they made some good starting pitching acquisitions.