Every year at seasons end when things do not work out one thing is always asked; what went wrong? This season for the Tigers, they were troubled by inconsistent pitching, untimely hitting and not performing like the $191 million payroll they have.
General manager Al Avila said he “wants to go younger and leaner” which will include cutting payroll, and yes that means getting rid of the fan favorite players.
With signing Justin Upton, it showed that team Owner Mike Illitch still wants to win now and will do whatever it takes. The problem is, Upton’s contract put them over the luxury tax making it harder to sign other star players deserving big contracts, cough cough J.D. Martinez.
They now have to face the big decision of what to do with these star contracts. The biggest fear is losing Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander, Ian Kinsler and J.D. Martinez. Although they could get go prospects for all these players they need to be wise on how they do it.
Personally, I think they could still get the payroll down as well as get younger talent, but it will take some teams willing to be flexible by taking certain contracts.
I have come up with a list of moves I would like them to do.
Number one: TRADE SANCHEZ AND PELFREY
You have two aging pitchers with huge contracts and need to drop as much money as possible. Take a few low ranked prospects to get rid of these bums and lower the payroll by easily $12-$18 million.
Number two: Trade Justin Upton and give the money to J.D. Martinez.
Both corner outfields that can play solid defense, Upton struggles from inconsistency too much throughout his career, but teams will still take him because of his raw power. Stock up on prospects to become younger and give that money J.D. has earned.
Number three: Keep Miguel Cabrera.
In a league with the Designated Hitter slot, Cabrera is in the perfect situation so he can still play First Base for a few more years, then switch to DH once his fielding declines, and by then old man Victor Martinez will be gone, oh yeah so will his contract!?! Look at that, more money!
Number four: As much as it hurts to say this, trade Ian Kinsler.
Kinsler has been a fan favorite every since he has come to Detroit and has preformed exceptionally well. The downside to Kinsler is is age (34). He is valuable enough to the point where we can get some good prospects if he were to be traded, but if he stayed, how many years would he have left? As an every day grinder it takes a lot of wear and tear on the body.
Number five: Keep Justin Verlander.
The snubbed 2016 Cy Young candidate is the Ace of this team. We need Verlander to be able to help out rookies, like Fulmer, Norris and Boyd with adjusting to the big leagues still, as well as keeping up the chemistry this starting rotation has had.
Now I know I am being the typical homer fan with these moves, but I am sure I am not the only one who agrees. We would be saving payroll as well as getting younger talent just like Avila wants to do.
Only time will tell if Avila is making the right moves.