Detroit Tigers: 10 Free Agents to sign heading into the 2021 season

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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Detroit Tigers
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First Baseman: Eric Thames

Continuing the same trend, the Detroit Tigers need a power-hitting first baseman, leaving a player like Eric Thames as an excellent candidate.

Again, similar to Cron, Thames is a slugging, powerful first baseman that, if performing up to standards, could be a tradable asset for future assets or a middling prospect for a playoff team looking to bolster their bench with a power hitter or a rotational first baseman or designated hitter at the deadline.

Thames is a stocky 5-foot-11, 235-pound slugger.  The 34-year old will surely be willing to sign a one-year deal hoping to erase last season’s struggles with the Washington Nationals.  Thames, who hit 31, 16, and 25 home runs in three straight seasons with Milwaukee, hit just three in 41 games last season with the Nationals while producing an awful .203 batting average.

Al Avila should be able to land Thames’ services for a very affordable price.  Thames and the Nationals had a mutual option agreement worth $4 million for the 2021 season.  The Nationals opted to decline their portion of the option, and if Thames elects to opt-out of his portion of the deal, he will still be owed $1 million.

I’d expect the slugger to be able to find himself a one-year $5-million or less somewhere if not in Detroit.

Another similar option to consider would be left-handed slugging veteran Jay Bruce.  Bruce can play first base, a corner outfield spot, or be a designated hitter.