Detroit Tigers Should Decline Option On Alex Avila


Alex Avila has been a consistent steadying presence behind the plate for the Detroit Tigers pitching staff over the last five seasons.  Although he has lacked offensive production over the last couple of season he always seem to have a knack for getting on base when the Detroit Tigers need a base runner. But overall it has been Alex Avila’s defense and game calling that has kept him in the line-up.

There are plenty of reasons to pick up Alex Avila’s $5.4 million team option for the 2015 season.  However the one reason to part ways with the Tiger stalwart out-weighs all the rest.

Oft Injured

Alex Avila admitted to an interview with that he has suffered three minor concussions over his major league career.

"“I’ve had three mild concussions in my career. I had a CT scan and an MRI checking my brain and my neck and the arteries leading to it, and everything checks out normal and healthy. And talking with the neurologist that examined everything, I shouldn’t have any concern. “It’s like any injury — you have to let it heal 100 percent.”"

In examining this season you can pin point three times Alex Avila missed time in just the 2014 season.  There have been other times in the previous two season that Avila has also missed time with concussion like symptoms.

Even if you if subscribe to the theory (and I don’t) that Avila missed time due to “aggravating” the same concussion you could deduce that Avila has suffered a mild concussion in each of the last three seasons.

Any player durability would be questioned if he missed time each season for a recurring injury.  The same questions should be asked in Alex Avila’s case.

Near Miss

Keeping Avila on the roster is a gamble the Detroit Tigers can’t afford to take.  That risk was vividly illustrated in game 3 of the ALDS.

Alex Avila left the game early after getting hit in the mask with a ball in the seventh inning.  If the Tigers had to play a game 4 Alex Avila would have most certainly been out.  Of course the Tigers lost so Avila’s injury wasn’t a factor but had the series continued the Detroit Tigers would have been a bat short on the bench.  That would have most likely been a factor for a team that lacked depth on its playoff roster.

As mentioned earlier, Alex Avila’s option is $5.4 million.  That is too pricey for an oft injured catcher who struggles at the plate.  It is unfortunate to say but it is time for the Detroit Tigers to move forward and find another option at catcher.  Maybe a player currently in the minor league system.