Chris McCosky of The Detroit News recently spoke with Tigers’ general manager Al Avila about the trade deadline. Avila discussed the circumstances that led to a relatively quiet deadline for the club. The only move they made was sending lefty Daniel Norris to the Brewers in exchange for righty Reese Olson.
Players like Jonathan Schoop and Michael Fulmer received some interest, but not enough to get a deal done. Avila credited the relatively quiet deadline to injuries, such as those to Fulmer, Matthew Boyd and Spencer Turnbull. “We had a couple of guys who would’ve been of interest,” Avila said. “But as always, the injuries that we’ve suffered played into us not being able to do a whole lot.”
Despite four consecutive dismal seasons with a winning percentage below .400, the Tigers seem to have turned a corner this year, sitting at 51-57, a much more palatable .472 winning percentage. The club’s exciting crop of starting pitching draftees have now reached the majors and started forming into a fascinating core. Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal, Matt Manning and Tyler Alexander have all joined the big league club and could potentially be mainstays of the rotation for years to come. Spencer Turnbull was also having a great season before the unfortunate news that he will have to undergo Tommy John surgery. But even if he were to miss the entirety of the 2022 campaign, Detroit would still control him for two more seasons after that.
Young and controllable players have also made encouraging contributions on the offensive side of things. Akil Baddoo, Jeimer Candelario, Eric Haase and Jake Rogers have all been worth more than a win, according to fWAR. Candelario is a free agent after 2023 but the rest of the guys on that list are controlled through at least 2026.
The Tigers also have some more guys on the farm who could be making their way to the big leagues sooner rather than later. Three of the club’s top prospects– Spencer Torkelson, Riley Greene and Dillon Dingler— are in Double-A.
And though the White Sox seem built to be a juggernaut for years to come, there’s a clear path for the Tigers to sneak up on them. Cleveland has done more selling than building in recent years. The Royals hoped to push into contention this year but are lagging behind Detroit in the standings. The Twins are hoping for a quick turnaround after this down year but just made it difficult for themselves by trading away Jose Berrios.
“You have to always remember that we want to add,” manager AJ Hinch says. “I hope when we are talking a year from now, we’re talking about adding talent.”