Embed from Getty Images Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila Monday night gave his his mission for the offseason, essentially saying the teardown is complete. It was a roster deconstruction that lasted three years. Speaking at the MLB winter meetings Avila revealed what fans have been asking for and Detroit media wondered about.
“The mindset here is to move forward and build back up,” Avila said in front of the media, after he had finished the first day of activity at the Winter Meetings. “We’ve made a lot of trades. We’ve traded everyone we needed to trade and we’re at the point where this team is very young and we need to build it back up.”
Al Avila said he and his staff are looking to add a veteran catcher, first baseman, corner outfielder, starting pitcher and possibly a middle infielder before spring training begins in February. One difference, they will be looking for middle tier players and not bottom feeders to fill out the roster.
Avila continued, “The biggest concern when you bring in veteran free agents is taking away time from your prospects,”But the situation here now is we can add free agents as needed and maybe create competition for young guys.”
The Detroit Tigers are looking to make the team better for 2020. The Tigers have top prospects knocking at the major league door. There is a decent chance Tigers top pitching prospects Casey Mize, Matt Manning and 3B/SS Isaac Paredes could all end up in Motown next summer at some point, as the trio’s development is ahead of others in the Detroit minor league system.
While it will be another long summer at Comerica Park, the light at the end of the rebuild tunnel is in sight. After the 2020 MLB season the Tigers will have over $150 million come off the books, from years of making championship runs.
In my opinion that is when Detroit will begin in earnest to go after big name free agents. Coupled with the fact the Tigers other prized prospects will be ready for The Show.
Assuming Detroit’s prospects and free agent signings are not complete busts, 2022 is the year that Detroit will likely start looking somewhat competitive again.