The Detroit Tigers were absolutely awful in 2019 as they finished dead last in Major League Baseball and things could be just as bad in 2020 if they do not improve their roster.
Not many expect the Tigers to be spenders this offseason, but MLB Trade Rumors predicts the Tigers to sign not one, but two former All-Stars who are top 50 free agents.
Those players are OF Yasiel Puig and SP Michael Wacha.
From MLB Trade Rumors:
37. Yasiel Puig – Tigers. One year, $8MM. After Guggenheim Baseball Management bought the Dodgers for $2.15 billion in 2012, one of GM Ned Colletti’s first moves was to sign Puig, a Cuban defector, to a $42MM deal without ever seeing him play in a game. Puig came with huge raw talent and maturity questions from the outset, and it’s arguable that those same concerns still exist. His 2013 season, in which he finished second in the NL Rookie of the Year voting, was bookended by a pair of reckless driving arrests. Puig tallied 9.4 WAR in 252 games for Don Mattingly’s 2013-14 Dodgers, heights he surprisingly would never reach again. Puig’s 2015-16 was marked by a scuffle with a Miami night club bouncer, regular hamstring injuries, and a stint in Triple-A. The 2017 season was a bounceback of sorts, as it was the only year in the past five in which Puig reached two wins above replacement. Last December, Puig’s up-and-down Dodgers career came to an end as he was shipped to the Reds.
His Reds career started quietly, as it took two months for his bat to get going. No stranger to ejections, Puig famously took on the Pirates in a brawl minutes after news of his late-July trade to the Indians broke. Though Puig’s power was absent in his time with the Indians, he still managed to post a 112 wRC+. For all his notoriety, the results on the field have been uninspiring for Puig, and he might have to accept a one-year deal. The Giants could use a corner outfield bat, but I doubt the team’s fanbase would embrace Puig while potentially losing Bumgarner. The Marlins are a fun fit, but Puig wasn’t on speaking terms with manager Don Mattingly at the end of his Dodgers career. Puig did finish on good terms with the Indians, but they aren’t likely to be looking to spend much this winter. Rebuilding teams like the Tigers, Orioles, or Royals could make sense, while the Diamondbacks, Padres, Rays, and White Sox might also look to add an outfielder.
47. Michael Wacha – Tigers. One year, $6MM. Drafted 19th overall by the Cardinals in 2012, Wacha was the NLCS MVP a little over a year later. He missed more than two months in 2014 with a stress reaction to the scapula in his right shoulder but bounced back with his lone All-Star campaign in 2015. A similar shoulder injury flared up in August 2016, knocking Wacha out for a month. Healthy again in ’17, Wacha produced middling results. Then in 2018, he missed more than three months with an oblique strain. Wacha was mostly healthy this year until a late September shoulder injury ended his season. He’s still only 28, and he had early career success, but Statcast doesn’t offer much hidden value and there are lingering health issues. He’ll likely prioritize a rotation job and a one-year deal to rebuild value. That seems likeliest to come from a rebuilding team, as most contenders will prefer more certainty when trying to fill out the rotation.
Nation, can you see the Tigers signing either one of these free agents?