By:  Kurt Snyder

So. Get your arms around it. Accept it. Come to terms with it. The Tigers need to sell.

June was supposed to be the month when the Tigers would get on a roll. The schedule was supposedly in their favor. But they have done nothing to take advantage. They have gone backwards instead and are in the middle of a stretch that could sew up the direction of their future decisions.

So, ok, fine. They need to unload talent for prospects. We had a taste of that in 2015. And frankly, it went pretty well. However, this time, it feels like it will be more extensive doesn’t it? Or not?

In July of 2015, the Tigers had 3 legitimate stars they could not afford to re-sign. And in his final act for the team, Dave Dombrowski brought talent to Detroit.

In my mind, prior to the deals, I trusted him. I believed this was ultimately Dombrowski’s strength. Negotiating. Bargaining. Taking a hard-line stand on who he wanted and sticking to his guns, right to the final minute in the case of Michael Fulmer.

It was the first time the Tigers had been in sell mode, well, ever, it seems. So even though it was concerning, and knowing how important it was to get high quality talent for the likes of Price, Cespedes and Soria, did you have any doubt Dave would get it done? I didn’t.

But with Dave gone and the Tigers gearing up for another round of selling in another month, how comfortable are you now? Do you feel the situation is in good hands with Al Avila? Again, interject Kurt’s opinion here: Answer: Heck no!

Let’s take a look at what has been Al’s strength since he became GM. Go ahead; I will give you a minute….. (insert silence here).

With JD Martinez in the hands of Al Avila, will the Tigers get good value or will they get fleeced?

Will Al make sure a deal sending Ian Kinsler out of Detroit draws a bag of good young talent? Finding out what we get in return may end up being quite cringe-worthy.

I believe the Tigers are in a terrible position with Al Avila in charge to begin this process. Heading into the season, didn’t Tiger ownership believe selling at the deadline was a very likely scenario? Well, let me tell you. The fans sure did.

And given that assumption, if you are owner or acting owner of this team prior to the start of the season, didn’t you need to take a hard look at your GM, and what he has brought to the party? Didn’t you have to decide if he was the right person to lead the franchise into battle?

This is a pretty important trade deadline and off-season coming up. We’ve got talent to deal. Forget the names, it could be anyone. But the Tigers have talent to deal. Now, no one wanted any part of it prior to the season, so it makes you wonder what other teams thought of Avila? Was he realistic in his dealings, or did they just decide to hold their cards until the deadline?

So many questions, so few answers.

Knowing how precariously close the Tigers were to selling off stars before the season, ownership needed to start brooming in the front office beforehand. A pursuit of a seasoned GM more-suited to heading the inevitable transformation of the roster was in order; and one more-suited to realizing the need for a managerial change. The all-important first priority.

But Tiger ownership chose not to do it. They didn’t take a serious look at the storm down the road. If they did, they would be more prepared. But they are not.

Avila will lead us into the deadline, and we all better hold our breath and hope we are wrong about him.


  1. Al does have a strength, he knows how to (sic) work the media. But then again, all GMs in all sports must have at least this strength. I’d be very curious what Equipment Manager Jim Schmakel thinks about this team. He’s been in the dugout since ’79 and has seen all sorts of Tiger teams and players. Oh, the stories he could tell, the stuff he’s seen and his opinions about what’s happening now.


  2. Sort of like when I lived in Sarasota many years ago waiting for the hurricane to hit. The suspense is building. The next five weeks or so should be very interesting.


  3. Everyone should be on the block! Ausmus, Avila, and Rand MUST be gone by next year. Every player, including Cabrera and Ver, Should be tradeable. A complete house cleaning is a MUST. Start asap!


    • Cabrera and Verlander are not tradeable, unfortunately. Nobody is going to take on those salaries. I’m a big fan of both, but if I were a GM, I would not accept them for nothing–the money they will cost you could be spent in innumerable ways that would benefit your team more.


      • Opus 131 – Trader Dave was able to get Texas to take Prince under simular circumstances… We got Kinsler in exchange. Along with paying Prince $6M p/y for next 100 years it seems. But… All Hail Al Avila!


  4. Kurt I fear your right about AA and the coming days. I fear another Cecil Fielder,Tony Phillips,David Wells fleecing.


  5. The Tigers organization should know right now what their course of action will be, but I doubt that they do. They must recognize that this team is deeply flawed and weighted down with bad contracts with a manager and players lacking that fire in the belly.


  6. Avila getting the job in the first place was akin to the Lions giving Mayhew the spot after getting rid of Millen, though no way would I compare Dombrowski to Millen. He got promoted because it was convenient, not because he deserved it.


  7. What can they get for “rookie” JV? What a choke job. A guy who bunts all the time bunts to break up his no-no and JV reverts to form and loses all concentration because he shouldn’t have bunted?? They have two or three very tradable pieces – JD, Iggy and Fulmer, not much else due to either contract or lack of heart/talent combo, in some cases both.


  8. Folks respected Mr. I and his sincere effort to bring a championship to the Tigers, as he did with the Red Wings. Now, both teams are in complete shambles, with horrible management and very poor coaching. This common thread points to ownership, is anyone watching this destruction taking place?


  9. The present, and the future looks bleak for the Tigers. No faith in Avila as GM, Ausmus as manager, and the minor league system has been one of the worst in the majors for years.


  10. this is the past repeating itself….when Mr I took over in the 90’s all of his money went into the Wings for many years until (2006). The GM’s then did nothing to improve the team (Randy Smith comes to mind & can;t remember who else was there before him but it was the same lack of functioning), AA is no Dombrowski and based on his recent signings or lack thereof, don’t see this getting any better. If you don’t learn from your mistakes your doomed to failure


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