The second tier: sleepers, veterans, and stopgaps for the Detroit Tigers
The other grouping to find within this free-agent shortstop class is one highlighted by potential under-the-radar pickups and players that could otherwise be considered stopgaps at the position.
Within the sleeper section, there are a couple of notable names. Chris Taylor, Donovan Solano, and Eduardo Escobar. All three are more utility-type hitters that likely won’t command the same money or length on their contracts that a Correa or Seager would. Although none of them are permanent solutions, they would fit well into the short-term plans for coming out of the rebuild.
On the other end of this group are the stopgaps: Brock Holt, Freddy Galvis, or old friends Andrew Romine or Jose Iglesias. None of them will light the world on fire but will most certainly be veteran leadership on a young squad. The problem is, the Tigers are ready to splash, and these just aren’t the guys for that.
Finally, in this grouping are the almost unclassifiable. Javier Baez and Andrelton Simmons fill the roles of players that had a lot of hype around them at a certain point, but neither has lived up to the ceilings they were thought to have. Baez has his well-documented issues with swinging and missing at everything, and Simmons just has not developed a consistent bat.
Overall, this offseason should prove to be an interesting one for any Detroit fans yearning for the Tigers to be competitive in the markets again. Whether it be a high-profile Carlos Correa pickup or an unheralded Chris Taylor deal, it should be a good winter to be a Tigers fan.