The Detroit Tigers have penciled in some minute signings to round out their 2020 roster, but the team still needs a veteran outfielder. The 2020 roster is pretty much set, but another outfielder would add depth to this rebuilding team.
Currently, the Detroit Tigers outfield consists of Christin Stewart, Victor Reyes, JaCoby Jones, Travis Demeritte, and Harold Castro. The Tigers need to add another outfielder who could easily be targeted in the form of Curtis Granderson, Austin Jackson, Jon Jay, or Kevin Pillar. Having detailed the Tigers’ rough outfield situation recently, take a more in-depth look into the candidates that are new to the equation.
As the offseason has gone on, Jay and Pillar have seen their asking price drop while former Tigers outfielder Nicholas Castellanos and Marcell Ozuna wait to sign. Jay is thirty-four years old and a veteran outfielder who could provide a possible lead-off hitter role.
After six years with the St. Louis Cardinals, Jay has bounced around between teams, playing 2019 for the Chicago White Sox. Last season, Jay only played in forty-seven games, accumulating 165 at-bats with a .267/.315/.311 with eight doubles and nine RBI for the White Sox. His season was shortened due to injuries, which is what held him down to forty-seven games.
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The Tigers could take a chance on Jay to be a “tutor” for some of the younger players in the clubhouse. Jay can hopefully bounce back, be a platoon outfielder who can play centerfield or the corners, and help Detroit’s rebuild. The White Sox paid Jay $4 million during the 2019 season, so the Tigers should be able to get him for cheaper due to his injury-shortened season.
Another one of the intriguing outfield options Detroit should pursue is the field general Pillar. In 2019, Pillar was traded from the team he came up with, the Toronto Blue Jays over to the San Francisco Giants.
He was traded from one rebuilding team to another, spending almost all of 2019 with the Giants. Pillar played in 156 games with the Giants and five with the Blue Jays. On the season, Pillar swung a .259/.432/.287 with twenty-one home runs and eighty-eight RBI for the two teams.
Pillar is thirty-one years old and should be an intriguing purchase for the Tigers front office to consider. If the Tigers could bring in Pillar, he would add stellar defense to centerfield, speed to the lineup, and apparently (looking at 2019 stats) a little bit more pop.
Detroit won’t magically start being competitive with the signing of Pillar, but it may help them stay in some games and maybe win some so that they win more than fifty games.