Well, this one certainly came flying out of left field.
On Tuesday, Alden Gonzalez of ESPN put together a list of the best fits for former National League MVP Freddie Freeman and the Detroit Tigers made the cut.
Here is what Gonzalez said about the potential fit.
This is an imperfect fit, and undoubtedly a long shot. Some might consider it patently absurd. But Freeman would be a game-changer for a Tigers team that clearly sees itself on the rise. Yes, the Tigers are basically set at all of the positions Freeman’s presence would impact: Cabrera is entrenched as the designated hitter, former No. 1 pick Spencer Torkelson will soon become the every-day first baseman, and Jeimer Candelario is at third base coming off a really strong year. But look a little closer.
Cabrera is 38, heading into the last two years of his career, and is long removed from his days as an elite hitter. Torkelson has received about a third of his minor league time at third base, and the Tigers would probably be willing to stomach some shoddy defense at that position if it meant plugging Freeman into the middle of their lineup. Candelario was the Tigers’ most consistent hitter last season, but he’s also two years away from free agency, so maybe the Tigers could get a few players in a trade and address needs elsewhere.
This is an exciting time in Detroit, with AJ Hinch heading into his second season as the manager. Eduardo Rodriguez and Javier Baez have been signed to contracts totalling $217 million. Casey Mize, Matt Manning and Tarik Skubal seem poised to take big steps forward as developing starting pitchers. Torkelson and Riley Greene, the 21-year-old outfielder drafted fifth overall out of high school in 2019, are set to debut. And Freeman could be the final big piece. No, the Tigers don’t need Freeman (what they really need is an outfielder). But his bat could help them challenge for a playoff spot — and set the tone for the next half decade.
Honestly, I really don’t see this one happening.