MLB Free Agency is in full swing and with all the talk about trading Max Scherzer and pursuing free agents, the Detroit Tigers should consider other options. The Tigers are said to be looking for another bat on left field and a solid second baseman but maybe they don’t need to look any further than Toledo.
Although the departed Avisial Garcia would have been an excellent solution in left field, the Detroit Tigers do have other options in the farm system to fill the holes in left field and second base.
Nick Castellanos was the #21 prospect in baseball going into the 2013 season. This after being converted to the outfield from third base to avoid the Miguel Cabrera road block.
2013 also marked Castellanos first full season in AAA and although his power numbers may have been a little less than anticipated, he hit 18 HR and drove in 76 RBI for a terrible Toledo Mud Hens team. When the Tiger outfield prospect was called up in September, he hit .278 in just 18 at-bats. A small sample size to be sure but he didn’t embarrass himself.
Overall Castellanos earned himself the opportunity to honestly compete with Andy Dirks for the left field position. If the Tigers bring in a high-priced free agent he won’t get that opportunity.
Hernan Perez has been close to making the Tigers roster the last couple of season. The Tigers opted to keep him in the Minors to get more playing time. With Omar Infante heading out the door, now is the time to promote Perez and start looking at the Tigers double play combination of the future.
Perez hit .301 between Erie and Toledo in 2013. His glove and his bat are ready for the show. Perez is a plus defender with speed and although he doesn’t have any power to speak of he can handle the bat.
It is no secret that the Detroit Tigers are selling out to win the world series. However they don’t have to mortgage the future. Promoting Castellanos and Perez gives the Tigers the flexibility to keep Max Scherzer and pursue a mid-tier free agent outfielder that can bring some power off of the bench.
Promoting from within also gives Dave Dombrowski the flexibility to consider high level prospects in a potential trade instead of plugging a hole with a major league outfielder or second basemen.
Most of all promoting Castellanos and Perez saves money and having a little space in the payroll is always a good thing to take advantage of deals at the trade deadline.
The Tigers are competitive on an annual basis however at some point the spending will slow down and the Tigers will have to depend on their farm system for infusions of young talent. Now is the time to put our farm system to produce some home-grown talent and help the Tigers rebuild on the fly.