By: Holly Horning & Kurt Snyder
The Tigers finally broke the seal on their off-season with the arrival of a closer for next year and the acquisition of an outfielder we have all seen before.
So, what are your thoughts on the moves? Are the Tigers better than they were a week ago? Are they worse? What concerns do you still have, if any?
Our writers share what they have on their minds as the activity ramps up.
Dave Dombrowski took quite a risk by obtaining Craig Kimbrel. Did he put the cart before the horse by obtaining a top closer despite having no decent starting pitching? If he doesn’t sign a minimum of 2 top pitchers, this could be the equivalent of putting NASCAR wheels on a minivan.
It’s known that Billy Beane traded Josh Donaldson, this year’s MVP, because of personal, not performance or business reasons. I’m amazed that more hasn’t been said about a GM who allowed his personal feelings to override his business acumen by trading such a talented player. The A’s went from 2nd place to last with baseball’s 4th worst record.
Rumors say that the Tigers are exploring a return of Doug Fister to Detroit. If they prove right, how will the reasons for his original departure be rewritten? What will his return say about Dave’s decision – and about Al Avila?
It was my feeling going into the off-season that the Tigers would have to make most of their hay on the free agent front with little to offer in a trade. But so far they have managed to do the opposite. A couple of shrewd deals have brought the Tigers an experienced closer and a still young and athletic Cameron Maybin to strengthen the outfield. This is a better team already.
The acquisition of Maybin is a big deal and the only real question is where in the outfield he will be plugged in. You can’t have enough speed in that outfield. Maybin brings both speed and defense to a team that can’t have enough.
Centerfield seemed set going into the off-season, but I didn’t feel the same way about our leadoff spot. Cameron Maybin will certainly make a bid for the top spot in the batting order, it’s just a matter of whether he will replace Gose in center or fill the left field spot. Gose struck out way too much to continue to lead off and really belongs in the 9 spot because of it.