With more candidates than spots available, the Detroit Tigers will have decisions to make when it comes to rounding out their starting rotation next spring.
Although the Detroit Tigers stayed in the playoff hunt until the very end, their year is now officially over. While the Tigers’ season may have ended in disappointment, they still bounced back nicely from a last-place finish in 2015.
Looking ahead to the 2017 campaign, the Detroit Tigers should have the talent to compete once again. Basically, they should be nearly the same team next year.
Closer Francisco Rodriguez and center fielder Cameron Maybin have team options for next season, but other than those two, backup catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and infielder Erick Aybar are the only players headed for free agency.
In 2016, the Tigers finished second in the AL with a .267 batting average, and they should have a formidable offense once again next year. The bullpen ranked near the bottom of the AL once again with a 4.22 ERA, however, so that is an area that may require some attention over the offseason.
It will also be interesting to see how the rotation shakes out. The Tigers’ starting staff combined for a 4.25 ERA this past season, which was good enough to tie the Seattle Mariners for fourth in the American League. However, there were quite a few issues at the back of the rotation. They also needed to rely quite heavily on young arms.
With a thin free agent market for starting pitching and a plethora of in-house candidates, it would hardly be shocking if the Tigers’ answers come from within. Here are the current candidates for the 2017 starting rotation.