Matt Snyder: A Direction for the Franchise
The Detroit Tigers came into the offseason positioning themselves as sellers. They said they were looking to get younger and run leaner payrolls in order to build a sustainable future.
The Tigers quickly traded center fielder Cameron Maybin for a minor league pitcher. More trades seemed inevitable as we were soon inundated with rumors involving Justin Verlander, Ian Kinsler, J.D. Martinez, Victor Martinez, Jose Iglesias, and Justin Wilson. So far, however, nothing has come to fruition.
In the meantime, Al Avila has muddied the waters by walking back some of the payroll-slashing talking points. Will the club continue to cut payroll and seek to exchange expensive contracts for low-priced prospects? That answer is not clear.
It’s not even clear that the front office has any sort of plan at all.
It would be one thing if they tried to follow their initial plan but found no takers for high-value players. That doesn’t seem like a plausible explanation for their lack of moves, however, as we’ve now seen Chris Sale, Adam Eaton, and Wade Davis (among others) traded in high-profile moves.
The worst thing the organization could is waffle in their current state of limbo. The club needs to either get serious about trading veteran players or figure out what moves they can make to turn the current roster into one that could compete for the AL Central crown.
Maintaining the status quo is not an option. The front office needs to (quickly) pick a lane.
It’s not that the organization needs to tell us fans exactly what they’re going to do — it’s not practical to fully telegraph your moves — but it would be nice to have some indication that a (well thought out) plan is in place and being acted upon.
Right now it feels like the club is trying to change directions mid-stream and that they’d be willing to change again at a moment’s notice. That doesn’t seem like a strategy that is likely to pay off in the long run.