The Detroit Tigers are a little over a calendar month into the 2015 season and currently find themselves second place in the AL Central division behind reigning American League champions, the Kansas City Royals. Detroit started off 11-2 out of the gate but have since then leveled off. They are currently struggling to find that consistent good play that they had for the first two weeks of the regular season back in April.
This is a big year for Detroit. After this season ends, eight players (that have at least five years of MLB service) on their current 25-man roster will be coming off the books and hit the free agency market, totaling at about $49.6 million in salary relief. The two biggest names that will be eligible for free agency are starting pitcher David Price and left fielder Yoenis Cespedes. Both players have been exceptional for the Detroit Tigers and president/General Manager Dave Dombrowski. So much so, they are making strong cases for themselves to earn rather large contracts next offseason.
Price was acquired at the trade deadline in 2014 in a deal that sent former Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson to the Seattle Mariners, in preparation that they would be unable to sign now current Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer. Price so far this season has a record of 3-1 with a 2.93 ERA, including a complete game in his last outing against the Royals. Outside of his one start against the New York Yankees where he gave up eight earned runs in 2 1/3 innings, Price has pitched very well.
Cespedes was acquired in a offseason December trade with the Boston Red Sox, in exchange for former Tigers starter Rick Porcello. Yoenis is in his fourth full season in the majors, after debuting with the Oakland Athletics in 2012. In 28 games, he has four home runs, 17 runs batted in, and has a current slash line of .296/.319/.519. Cespedes has also shown that his defensive presence in the field has been a major upgrade for Detroit this season.
Both David Price and Yoenis Cespedes are going to be big targets in the offseason. Obviously in a perfect world, Detroit would love to keep both for 2016, but that is a definite long shot, seeing as they need to continue to make upgrades else where on the ball club *cough cough* bullpen *cough*. So the debate begins Tigers fans, who would you rather see in the olde English D next season if we are allowed only one or the other: David Price or Yoenis Cespedes?