The Detroit Tigers are stuck in mediocrity this season. If that does not change soon, Al Avila will not be patient.
The Detroit Tigers payroll has ranked among the major leagues highest over the last five years. Yet they have almost nothing to show for it, other a 2012 world series appearance. So what has the team done for us lately. That is precisely the question General Manager Al Avila seems to be asking.
According to a tweet by MLB Networks John Paul Morosi, the Detroit Tigers front office could be in fire sale mode if the team shows it can’t compete.
A Detroit Tigers fire sale of this magnitude hasn’t been proposed in Detroit for decades. Former owner Mike Illitch, the deceased patriarch of the Ilitch sports empire, has never been afraid the throw his money around when it comes to the Tigers. He was always in favor of adding players, even if it meant over paying for them, to help his team stay competitive.
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Low-Tolerance For Losing?
Since the passing of “Mr. I”, his son Chris has taken the helm and his tolerance for a high payroll with low-return may be quite different from his fathers. Chris Ilitch hasn’t spoken publicly about the Detroit Tigers payroll situation but this is the first time in a decade the possibility of Detroit
Tigers fire sale has been even leaked to the media.
Body Of Evidence
Other than the tweet by John Paul Morosi, there is evidence that the Detroit Tigers brain trust is considering a new payroll philosophy. During the off-season, fan were expecting the Tigers to add some pieces after the teams disappointing finish in 2016. But when the team set-up camp in Lakeland, Florida this spring, it became clear that the only move the team was prepared to make was sending outfielder Cameron Maybin to the Los Angeles Angels. General Manager Al Avila was comfortable moving forward with the roster virtually unchanged and blamed injuries for the clubs lack-luster 2016.
This off-season marked the first time in several seasons that the Detroit Tigers were not even mentioned as a suitor for the league’s top free-agents. Now the reason for standing pat this off-season is becoming more clear as the Tigers appear ready to let the core of Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez either sink or swim.
If the Detroit Tigers do in fact have until the end of the month to start winning, they are off to a poor start. The team has lost two of three since Morosi’s tweet.