Offseason Grading: The Detroit Tigers

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The Tigers had two things that is the recipe for success on most teams. They had a power-hitter that also hits for average in Miguel Cabrera and the team had an ace in Justin Verlander.

So, what went wrong? Why did the team finish 81-81? Is Miguel Cabrera drinking an alcoholic beverage? These are all questions that need to be addressed.

The reason the Tigers didn’t get into the postseason was simply because there weren’t enough pieces around these two. Let’s take a look at what they did to fix this:

Additions: Victor Martinez, Joaquin Benoit, and Brad Penny

Despite the struggles from the Boston Red Sox last season, those struggles didn’t stretch to Martinez. Martinez will see more time at designated hitter, but having another bat in the middle of the line-up will help immensely.

The Tigers most underrated signee might be Benoit. The guy’s ERA was 1.34 last season. Pretty solid. This is where every Chicago White Sox fan scratches their head and wonders why they signed Jesse Crain.

Penny played in nine games last season (previous to injury) and was paid over  $9 million. This is where I wish I were an athlete.

Subtractions: Armando Galarraga, Johnny Damon, Gerald Laird, and Jeremy Bonderman

Ah, the life of Mr. Galarraga. He thinks he pitches a perfect game, horrible call ruins it, starts to pitch horribly, gets sent down to the minors. If this were a movie, Galarraga would revive his career with his new team and win Cy Young.

Too bad this isn’t a movie. Good luck in Arizona.

Funny how Damon goes from one young team that wouldn’t make the playoffs last year (Tigers) and he’s doing the same thing this season (Rays).

Losing a player like Bonderman (been in Detroit since 2003) is always tough. They’ll miss the man more than the player. During his time in Detroit, his ERA was never below 4.09.

Offseason grade: B

The Tigers addressed everything they needed to. They could have one of the best rotations in the league if Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello and Phil Coke can turn the corner.

The bullpen is improved, and that’s even if we bank on Joel Zumaya getting hurt again, which absolutely will happen. Would it be a good idea to sit Zumaya until July? Can we do that? How isn’t this a good idea? You rest him until mid-summer; before the team is out of the race, and boom, throw him in during big games.

Flawless plan.

Kyle Ratke is a frequent contributor. You can follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

 

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