Detroit Tigers: Organization falling short on undrafted free agent signings

(Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

The Detroit Tigers are falling short on opportunities in the undrafted free agency period.

While the 2020 MLB Draft has come to a close, the undrafted free agent signing period has begun, and it has left the Detroit Tigers struggling to make the most of opportunities. The Tigers had six selections in the 2020 MLB Draft, where they opted to boost the position player depth.

General Manager(GM) Al Avila did a great job assembling a great draft class, but the six selections were not all that matters during this 2020 MLB Draft. The undrafted free agency period would allow the Tigers to fill out a draft class and expand it a bit to help bring in more talent.

Looking at the rebuild, it is evident that some of the players are going to fizzle out or fade, and having extra prospects working their way through the system is only beneficial. However, the Tigers have opted not to sign any undrafted free agents as the period to sign them opened up.

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Detroit Tigers’ draft class stands at six, similar to other teams who are not signing anyone.

The Tigers are not alone; there are six total teams who have neglected to sign undrafted free agents. American League (AL) Central opponents; the Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians have also not signed an undrafted player yet according to an updated free-agent tracker.

On the flip side, the Kansas City Royals have signed enough players to spread around the whole AL Central division, reaching agreements with six players, while the Minnesota Twins have signed two players during the free agency period.

The Tigers have done such a great job with the 2020 MLB Draft so far; the hope remains high for this draft class, but adding a few more names from free agency would have been nice. The talent level of these players is not bad; there are some exceptional college arms on the market.

The talent level stretches further than some would think since they are labeled “undrafted free agents” however, with a regular draft being forty rounds, the odds of picking up a talented player are high. Think about it, the players who would have gone, say rounds six to fifteen are available.

This is where the Tigers’ front office is dropping the ball after such a phenomenal draft. There is still time, but as other teams bring in more and more of the top players, the Tigers might be looking at more of a “diamond in the rough” scenario.

It seems the Detroit Tigers feel the six players they selected are enough.

The Tigers made six selections leaving fans with a generally positive consensus on the organization’s choices. However, dropping the ball on the undrafted free agents could be one of several things.

Many things come to mind when thinking of the Tigers neglect to sign players, firstly would be fear of overspending. With no revenue coming in for a regular-season right now as usual, could the organization be afraid to add on extra capital to the payroll (even though its a maximum of $20,000 per player)?

Secondly, the organization could feel the six-man draft class headed by first overall pick Spencer Torkelson is more than adequate, but with such a low dollar value, there is no reason not to take a few fliers on these college or high school players.

Another one that comes to mind would be the neglect of younger players to come to the organization. This one seems a bit “out there,” but some players may have offers from multiple teams, including the Tigers, and simply have been choosing to pursue other options.

There are a few other reasons, but the first two stick out the most after initial thoughts. Personally, there’s no reason not to spend $20,000 on a few different players who were initially round six to fifteen talent level and hope they pan out if they do not, no sweat on such a  small first contract.

No matter what it is, the Tigers need to secure a name or two as the undrafted free agent period continues, bringing in someone, even if it just an investment piece. A $20,000 contract for someone who’s normal slot value may have been far beyond $20,000 seems to be a no-brainer.

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The Detroit Tigers front office had such a pleasing draft; there was no reason to drop the ball on the undrafted free agents.