After having one of the best teams in Major League Baseball for nearly a decade, the last three seasons in Detroit have been awful for the Tigers.
Manager Ron Gardenhire said that it is about to change.
The Tigers Winter Caravan tour interviews got underway on Thursday, and when Gardenhire was asked point-blank what the goals for the 2020 Detroit Tigers are, he responded with two words — “to win.”
“This spring training we went out and brought in some good veterans that can help our lineup out,” Gardenhire said. “While we want to continue to develop our young players, it’s time to win. It’s time to show our fans we are heading in the right direction…we want to hold our players accountable, no more gimmes.”
Gardenhire, who loves to have fun with the press, looked very serious at the Tigers Caravan sendoff. A promising sign for Tigers’ fans is how excited and optimistic that Gardenhire is heading into spring training — and he should be.
Detroit already signed some much better than average talent this offseason in first baseman CJ Cron and second baseman Johnathon Schoop. They also added pitchers Ivan Nova and Hector Santiago along with catcher Austin Romine.
From the sound of it, they may have a veteran outfielder on their radar as well.
Gardenhire mentioned that he believes that the Tigers haven’t finished signing players, and GM Al Avila confirmed that by adding that they would love to add a veteran outfielder.
Al Avila says the Tigers could still be in the market for another outfielder and won't shy away from adding more players before the start of the season.
— Jennifer Hammond (@HammerFox2) January 23, 2020
Yasiel Puig and Kevin Pillar are still on the open market, and either one would make a great addition.
Former Tiger Nick Castellanos is still looking for a team too. While Puig and Castellanos are the two big-name free agent outfielders on the market, the price tags may be too big for Detroit to bite.
“I don’t know if it’s about price, but it’s the fit,” Avila told the Detroit News.” “And would it block anybody (in the system). Right now, we’re working through that. We’ve been talking to some agents, and we’re looking into it. If it makes sense, we will do it.”
Puig playing in rightfield sounds nice, but Avila said that signing the former Dodgers star is “not something that’s a priority.”
Former Blue Jays star Kevin Pillar is another player to consider. Pillar is great in the field and not too bad at the plate either. He also can play all three outfield spots with great skill. Pillar would be a great under-the-radar signing.
If none of those players fit the bill, other free agents include Hunter Pence, Cameron Maybin, and Steven Souza. It will be interesting to see if, or when, the Tigers make another move.
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