Avila talks rebuilding; major trades imminent?
Speculation abounds that we will see a very different Tigers team next season, and certainly over the next 3 seasons, following comments by Al Avila regarding potential offseason moves.
“At the very beginning, I said this may be a process that takes three winters, not just one winter. Now people are like, ‘Oh, they are going to trade everyone.’ No. I don’t know who we are going to trade yet. We want to trade the right guys and certain things might take until next winter. …
“The goal is to shed payroll and get better. Now, how do you do that? It may not all be accomplished in one shot. It’s a process. I’m going to keep on saying that. It’s not a process you do in three months. It’s one you do by changing the philosophy and way you go about it moving forward — as opposed to every year going out and signing big-time free agents and trading away your prospects.
“Are there going to be good, viable trades out there? We will find out. If there are not, we will wait … I think there’s going to be interest in several of our players. I do. It’s just a matter of where we go with those talks.”
He later confirmed that the team was listening to offers for all players. He indicated that no player is off the table, but it is generally believed that lower-priced stars such as Michael Fulmer and Daniel Norris are the types of players he intends to keep. Jordan Zimmerman is not expected to be dealt due to his very large salary and poor performance and injury problems last season. Younger players including Nick Castellanos may also be retained and help build the foundation for a younger team going forward.
Fans seem to be generally supportive of the idea seeing as how the recent higher payroll hasn’t translated to championships, even if it means dealing all-time franchise greats Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander.
There is already indication that Avila has taken calls on these players. J.D. Martinez is also widely expected to be the subject of talks. Victor Martinez is not expected to be back with the team, and given his health issues over the last couple of seasons it is not unreasonable to think he will retire.
William Hill baseball betting odds is already showing that the news is affecting odds for the Tigers, and fans should expect long odds for the foreseeable future as well.