The Detroit Tigers’ offseason was rated 10th best in baseball with a B- grade, according to Dave Cameron of FanGraphs.
Dave Cameron, managing editor of baseball stats and analysis website FanGraphs, went about grading the offseasons of each of Major League Baseball’s 30 teams. The Detroit Tigers check in at number 10 with a B- grade.
Click on the link above for the full text (and to read about other teams), but below is a portion of his blurb on the Tigers’ moves.
"the Tigers showed something of a shift in direction, with the team staffing up the analytics department and looking for different kinds of players than Dave Dombrowski had emphasized previously. But they’re still the Tigers, and they are still attempting to win their aging owner a championship, so it’s no big surprise that they want back to the well of long-term deals for free agents by signing Jordan Zimmermann and Justin Upton. While both deals come with risk, and the opt-out for Upton limits the value there, the Tigers at least added enough wins to put themselves back in the 2016 AL Central race, and the deals weren’t so expensive that they prevented the team from also upgrading the bullpen."
Cameron focused mainly on the two big signings — Jordan Zimmermann and Justin Upton — but also mentions that Al Avila spent time upgrading the bullpen as well. Spending big dollars on free agent players isn’t a great way to build a team for long-term success, but that (i.e. long-term success) wasn’t the Tigers’ goal this offseason.
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The Detroit Tigers still want to win now for Mike Ilitch (or, rather, Ilitch is directing a win-now mentality). To that end, they did a good job of putting themselves in a position to compete while not torpedoing their future to a larger degree.
Don’t get hung up on the letter grade. We’re mostly conditioned to see a B- as something of a poor grade (or at least one we might complain to a high school teacher about), but only the top three teams received marks in the A-range (with no A+ given out). In this case, the B- (and 10th spot in the rankings) indicate the Tigers were a step or two above average this offseason.
I think this is a very fair assessment of what the Tigers both (1) set out to do and (2) accomplished this offseason.