Every year, the Detroit Tigers appear prime to make a run at a World Series championship. Every year, they come up short. Once the postseason hits, the Tigers somehow begin to struggle. In fact, if I am being honest, they tend to hit the skids even before the playoffs. For whatever reason and, believe me, I have tried to come up with something, this team is not built for October.
That has been the case for quite some time now. Each offseason, GM Dave Dombrowski does everything he can to equip this ballclub with the best talent possible. Sure, he has made a few blunders, most notably, the Doug Fister deal to the Washington Nationals. Not to mention trading Prince Fielder doesn’t look as great right now as it did 18 months ago. But, regardless, the Tigers continue to open up their checkbook and bring in high-level talent to try to bring Detroit its first World Series championship since 1984.
And, ultimately, it does not happen.
That is why it is time for a change. As Major League Baseball prepares for its unofficial second half of the season following the All-Star Game, Detroit needs to take the opposite approach. Forget about going out and trying to acquire elite players they believe can help them gear up for another postseason run. It isn’t working. The farm system is becoming weak as it is, without giving up the rest of their top prospects in an effort to acquire another starting pitcher or closer. The Tigers are nine games back in the American League Central. Sure, they sit just 3.5 games back of the A.L. Wild Card spot but, they are surrounded by a handful of teams who appear better suited to reach the playoffs.
It is time for the Tigers to build for the future. I am not saying that they should conduct a fire sale. Their situation is nowhere near that dire. With that being said, however, it may be wise for the Tigers to consider moving some players whose contracts run up at the end of this season. Especially, if they feel that they will either be unable to re-sign them, or have no interest in bringing them back to Detroit.
David Price may not be back. Trade him.
Yoenis Cespedes may not be back. Trade him as well.
Take a serious look at players such as Rajai Davis, Joakim Soria, Alex Avila and Alfredo Simon. Take some phone calls on all four of them, as all four players will be eligible for free agency after the current season. See what you could get for them now on the open market, as each of them would receive some interest from contending teams looking for an upgrade or depth.
For those who wish to hear spoiler alerts before big news is broken – even if it is difficult to hear – the Tigers are not going to win the World Series in 2015. It just isn’t happening. I would love to be proven wrong, but I just don’t see it happening.
That is why the Tigers should make a phone call to the New York Yankees. Call the Kansas City Royals. Reach out to the Houston Astros, St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs, to name a few. All four teams would benefit from adding players such as Price or Cespedes.
The Tigers would benefit from restocking their minor league system, helping them remain relevant for the next decade. It could be a win-win for all teams involved.