The Detroit Tigers have already been mentioned in possible trade rumors involving Max Scherzer and now reports are coming out that the team could be listening to trade offers for Prince Fielder after his awful run in the playoffs and while a deal would be tough to pull off, it could be something that the Tigers look into this offseason, including for a second baseman like Ian Kinsler or Brandon Phillips and now reports have the team talking to the Rangers about Fielder for Kinsler and now the deal is done.
According to CBS, the Tigers could be open to "listening" to offers for Fielder, meaning that they likely aren't seeking out those deals themselves. According to Henry Schulman from the San Francisco Chronicle, an "unnamed" AL exec said that the Tigers would listen to deals and this comes after the team surprised everyone by signing the star as a free agent to a $200 million deal. The rumors do not mention any destinations, but it sure is interesting after the playoffs performance that he had and the Tigers are looking to add more to their lineup heading into next season, including at second base.
Second base is the biggest need for the team right now and there are a number of players out there to be had, including Ian Kinsler and Brandon Phillips on the Reds. The team also could unload Prince Fielder and the sign Robinson Cano, but that would be a huge move to pull off.
The Detroit Tigers suffered a tough loss in the American League championship series this postseason and after manager Jim Leyland stepped down, the team hired Brad Ausmus to replace him and after signing big in past years, some free agents that could be in the wheelhouse for the Tigers includes Jacoby Ellsbury, Joe Nathan, Grant Balfour and Shin-Soo Choo.
The Tigers introduced Ausmus this past week and there now is another Major League Baseball team with a former catcher as their manager, as Ausmus joins Mike Scioscia and Joe Girardi and he will be one of the younger managers in the league at 44, taking over for Jim Leyland, who was one of the oldest. Ausmus played the bulk of his career for the Houston Astros and he also played for the Los Angeles Dodgers as well as the Tigers previously and he has past management experience, although it was in the World Baseball Classic for the Israeli national team. The Tigers have won some free agent winters with contracts like Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez and while they have done that in the past, it might not line up this offseason.
The team has a ton of money tied up in Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder heading into next season with over $40 million and after signing Anibal Sanchez and Torii Hunter last offseason the team may not have the space to add too much this winter. The team has a number of free agents coming off of the salary list with Omar Infante, Jose, Veras, Octavio Dotel and Jhonny Peralta all hitting the market and while their payroll is one of the highest in baseball, some of those players could walk, especially Peralta, as the team traded for Jose Iglesias when he was suspended for 50 games earlier this season.
While the team likely will be out of the Robinson Cano sweepstakes, the Tigers have surprised before and have shown they are willing to spend, as many did not expect them to shell out for Prince Fielder when they did. The team has been generous with their payroll and after getting so close to the World Series, they will need to keep up with the rest of the American League. The main position where the Tigers are weak is at second base, which is why Cano could be someone that comes up, but he likely will be too far out of reach for the Tigers.