Detroit Tigers: Should Team Consider Signing Travis Shaw?

The Detroit Tigers could use some help at the corner infield positions. Might free agent infielder and former Milwaukee Brewer Travis Shaw be a fit?

Going into the 2020 season, the Detroit Tigers appear to have some uncertainty at both third base as well as third base.

Jeimer Candelario, who began the 2019 season as the Tigers’ starting third baseman, batted just .203/.306/.337 with eight home runs and 32 RBI last year. Dawel Lugo also saw time at third last year.

Lugo batted .245/.271/.381 with six homers through 77 games and appears poised to battle Candelario for playing time at the position or potentially platoon with him in 2020.

Candelario could also now be part of the solution at first base, where Brandon Dixon is also in the mix. The soon-to-be 28-year-old Dixon showed some pop by hitting 15 home runs last year but struggled to get on base, posting a mere .290 on-base percentage.

Miguel Cabrera started 26 games at first base last season, and while he will likely see some time there again in 2020, he has essentially begun making the transition to being a DH.

Needless to say, it probably wouldn’t hurt for the Tigers to bring in reinforcements at the corner infield positions. Moreover, third baseman/first baseman Travis Shaw was recently non-tendered by the Milwaukee Brewers. According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, Shaw is among the possibilities the Tigers have considered.

In 2019, Shaw had a rough season to say the least, struggling to the tune of a .157/.281/.270 triple-slash with just seven home runs and 16 RBI through 86 games. However, between 2017-2018, Shaw batted .258/.347/.497 while clubbing over 30 home runs in each season. If he can rebound, Shaw would add a potentially potent left-handed bat to the Tigers’ lineup.

Furthermore, in addition to playing the corner infield positions, he has also seen some time at second base, so his versatility could be a plus as well.

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Shaw could potentially be a low-risk, high-reward signing for the Detroit Tigers. Obviously, the Tigers are hardly expected to be a contender in 2020, so it is quite unlikely that Shaw alone could make a difference. However, if he recaptures the power he displayed in the recent past, Detroit could potentially have a rather solid trade chip on its hands come next summer.

 

 

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