Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila joined MLB's Hot Stove to talk about the team's future, and shed some light on why the offseason moves that the team was anticipated to make didn't come to fruition.
“It's very hard to trade an everyday player and not receive a guy that you can plug into that position, or a position of need,” Avila explained, “whether it be right away, for this season, or in the very short future. Those kinds of trades were not available at this point, so that helped create the situation where we felt we should wait a little longer. Because we just weren't comfortable with trading good, productive Major League players for prospects that were further away, and maybe a little more chance on.”
Despite not making any significant moves during the off-season, Avila still has a clear vision for the future of the Tigers, whose fans are anxious for the team's first championship since 1984.
“In saying that, as we move forward, our intention, our philosophy is going to be to keep our young prospects, and not trade those guys, to be more prudent, say, in long-term contracts and free agency. We still have that belief, we still have that philosophy moving forward. We were looking at it this offseason, trying to make some moves, and start that this year, and it didn't work out that way.”
“But as we move forward, we will always be looking at ways to make the organization leaner and younger.”
So far, the only big move the Tigers have made was to move outfielder Cameron Maybin and his $9MM contract option to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in exchange for a pitching prospect. However, should the Tigers find themselves out of contention come the trade deadline, they could look to move the contracts of free-agents-to-be J.D. Martinez and Ian Kinsler.
Avila has made it clear that the Tigers, who paid a luxury tax for last season and are on track to do so again, will not be in that territory again next season.