Detroit Tigers get top grade for ‘stellar’ offseason

We are just over a week away from Opening Day and it is going to be very interesting to see if the Detroit Tigers can take the next step toward contending for a playoff spot in the American League.

Many were disappointed when the Tigers did not sign SS Carlos Correa but they did make some other moves that made their offseason successful.

In fact, according to Jim Bowden of The Athletic, the Tigers had such a good offseason that he gave them an “A” for the moves they made.

Here is what Bowden had to say about the Tigers' offseason.

Grade: A

Trades: Acquired C Tucker Barnhart from Reds for 3B Nick Quintana

Free agents: SS Javier Báez, 6 years/$140 million; LHP Eduardo Rodriguez, 5 years/$77 million; LHP Andrew Chafin, 2 years/$13 million; RHP Michael Pineda, 1 year/$5.5 million

The Tigers had a stellar offseason. Their goals included improving their team up the middle and bolstering their starting rotation, and they accomplished both. Tucker Barnhart, a two-time Gold Glove-winning catcher, will immediately improve their game calling, pitch framing and blocking behind the plate. Eduardo Rodriguez, who was rated as the second-best left-handed starting pitcher in free agency, behind only AL Cy Young winner Robbie Ray, gives them an established starter with a 4.16 career ERA. He registered a career-high 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings in 2021. But the Tigers’ biggest move was landing shortstop Javier Báez, who brings energy and enthusiasm to the park every day. He has 30 home run pop and will strike out too many times, but his above-average glove, along with Barnhart’s at catcher, will make the Tigers’ up-the-middle defense much better, helping their young pitching staff. Veteran right-hander Michael Pineda should be able to eat innings and help the back of their rotation. And left-hander Andrew Chafin, who held left-handed hitters to a .170 average (16-for-94) last season, significantly strengthens their bullpen.

The smartest decision the Tigers made this offseason was to let their top two prospects, center fielder Riley Greene and first baseman Spencer Torkelson, try to make the big-league team out of spring training. Both are AL rookie of the year candidates and could be impact players as soon as this summer. This offseason, the Tigers took a huge step forward with their roster, so much so that I’m predicting they’ll finish second in the AL Central this season.

Nation, do you think the Tigers can finish second in the American League Central?