According to Detroit Tigers DH Miguel Cabrera, the team is close to being able to contend for the MLB Playoffs.
Now, I don’t blame Miggy at all for saying that because it is exactly what I would expect any professional athlete to say when he is asked.
But, in reality, the Tigers, with their current roster, are still a year or two away from really contending for a playoff spot. Sure, their Minor League system is strong, but prospects are a dime a dozen and until they actually perform on the big stage, they don’t mean much.
That being said, there are ways for Tigers GM Al Avila to speed things up a bit and Tony Paul of the Detroit News just so happens to agree with what I have previously written about, almost lockstep.
First, the Tigers need to go out and hire A.J. Hinch to be their next manager. Sure, Hinch was part of the cheating scandal in Houston, which ultimately cost him his job, but he is a good manager who has served his time for what happened with the Astros.
The other thing Paul agrees with me on is going out and signing Michigan native, DJ LeMahieu in the offseason. LeMahieu is leading all of Major League Baseball with a .359 batting average and though he is 32-years-old, he still has some gas left in the tank to help out the Tigers.
Paul also added that the Tigers should sign soon to be free agent catcher, J.T. Realmuto. Realmuto has been a solid catcher for the last 5 years or so and he would be a huge upgrade over what the Tigers will otherwise be putting on the field.
Then Paul mentioned what I have been saying (and writing about) since the moment Justin Verlander was traded to the Astros. He will eventually return to the Tigers for the 2022 season and he will help the young pitchers grow, before eventually riding off into the sunset.
Now, all of this being said, none of this can happen unless Chris Ilitch gives Al Avila the green light to start spending a little bit of cash.
Nation, would you be down with the Tigers making these moves?
If #Tigers and Chris Ilitch really want to kick the rebuild into overdrive, start this offseason with DJ LeMahieu and JT Realmuto — after hiring AJ Hinch, of course. Then Justin Verlander next winter.
— Tony Paul | Detroit News (@TonyPaul1984) September 27, 2020