Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila has earned some wrath from fans in recent years for some of the moves that he has and hasn't made.
They'll be looking to improve upon last year's 47-114 record, though they won't be spending the big bucks like they used to in recent years – at least for a while.
Check out what Avila had to say about the state of the team and the plans going forward as the regular season opener draws closer:
“Well, the right way is where you draft players, you develop players, you pick up players. There’s a lot of different ways to acquire players. Obviously, one of them is through free agency. But if you said, ‘OK we’re going to have a $200 million payroll, let’s just sign every free agent money can buy.’ Well, that’s not the right way to do it. So when you’re talking about that, it might work out one year. But over the long term it’s not a good plan.
The right plan is to acquire players through all the avenues you have open to you. The draft obviously is the No. 1 place, Latin America, you have waiver pickups. I’ll give you a good example. A waiver pickup would be a guy like David McKay, the reliever, we picked him up on waivers from Seattle. We brought him up last year, he pitched a little bit, he’s here in spring training. There might be a guy right there that we might have under control for many years that’s going to be a really good bullpen piece.”
How about holding on to young, talented players?
“So trying to keep those players as opposed to trading them for a quick, hey, let’s try to win now. Now there’s going to be times where maybe you have to trade a player to get that kind of talent to take you over the top. But that shouldn't be the way you operate all the time because that hurts. Right now (All-Star Eugenio Suarez, traded to Cincinnati for Alfredo Simon) could be our third baseman. That helped us get to the (2012) World Series, but you can’t do that all the time.
“The right way is to acquire payers, develop them and get them to the big leagues. And then fill in where you need in free agency. If you have a good sustainable run for a long time, you should be able to produce from in-house a player — one, maybe two — every year or couple years as needed to fill in to kind of turn over the roster a little bit just to keep the sustainability.”
– – Quotes via Carlos Monnarez of The Detroit Free Press Link – –