Detroit Tigers: First domino falls in free agent shortstop market

(Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports)
(Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports) /

The first domino has fallen in the free-agent shortstop market. It was the Texas Rangers who struck first in the market, not the Detroit Tigers. However, it was a player that the Tigers had in their sightlines as this offseason started.

A shortstop/second baseman who has carved out a nice career for himself in recent years, Marcus Semien agreed to a seven-year, $175 million contract with the Rangers. The Detroit Tigers were likely unwilling to hand out a seven-year contract to the 30-year old Semien.

The Tigers organization is keen on adding a shortstop this offseason, and the rumors just seem to keep coming into daylight. Recently, it was everyone in the fanbase jumping for joy after a simple brunch between A.J. Hinch and Carlos Correa found its way onto social media.

Since then, rumors about the Tigers being in on Javier Báez have been mounting as well. Some analysts seem to think that Báez will likely be the next shortstop to sign this offseason. Could it be with the Tigers?

The Detroit Tigers watch on as the first domino falls.

Free agency is bound to get crazy as November comes to a close, which leaves a lot of room for speculation about the Tigers and if they will be active in pursuing their shortstop of the future. It’s hard to say “all signs point to (insert player name)” because I’m not sure who the frontrunner is.

It seems like Semien would have been an excellent option for the Tigers. While yes, there’s a lot of attractiveness in signing Correa to a huge deal and securing their guy. Bringing in someone like Semien also made a lot of sense for the organization as they started easing their way out of the rebuild.

However, the Tigers missed out on this opportunity. There are many other shortstops out there, though. From Báez and Correa to Corey Seager and Trevor Story, the Tigers still have their pick of the litter.

While the first domino in the shortstop sweepstakes has fallen, who’s going to sign next, and will it be with the Tigers?

Here are some predictions about the next dominoes to fall…

  • The Tigers will hold out as long as possible.
  • Playing off that one, the Tigers will end up grabbing Correa late for the largest contract.
  • The next player to sign will be Báez, and he’ll end up back in New York… not with the Mets though.
  • Story could be another player the Texas Rangers target as they have been reported as “not being done spending on shortstops.”

While these are just predictions and realistically hold no weight and are made off of inferences and educated guesses, it seems like the Tigers are going to keep holding out. They were aggressive early in grabbing starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez on his five-year contract but have been quiet since.

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The Tigers have so many ties to Correa. While personally, I’m not the biggest fan of the move, I think it is what will happen. Handing out a 10-year, $300 million contract to Correa seems like it may not be the brightest, but the majority of this fanbase thinks it will save the organization and get their future started… I guess we will see.