Jason Beck at MLB.com is the latest to look ahead to the Detroit Tigers' 2010 season. A few of his predictions:
- GM Dave Dombrowski will avoid any major free-agent splashes, instead sticking to cheap, "smaller, targeted moves."
- The Tigers could be happy with Gerald Laird and Alex Avila behind the plate next year. They figure Avila should only improve with more big-league experience, and that Laird will hit better if he's used more sparingly than he was in 2009. Considering Laird's .306 OBP this season was exactly in line with his career numbers, I'm not sure that's a safe assumption.
- Stuck behind first baseman Miguel Cabrera, prospect Ryan Strieby will have to move to the outfield if he's going to earn major-league playing time.
- Placido Polanco is probably a goner. The club will use Ramon Santiago and Ryan Raburn as fallback options at second base if Scott Sizemore isn't ready for the full-time job.
- There will be no everyday designated hitter, with two or three players instead rotating in and out of the role.
- With Magglio Ordonez seeing time at DH, the Tigers could add another corner outfielder.
- The team will try to sign an outside veteran arm to fill their closer vacancy.
- Excepting lefty Bobby Seay and whoever the closer turns out to be, the bullpen will be young and full of short-term contracts.