Ranking the best rebuilding teams in Major League Baseball

Sep 5, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Cubs first baseman Frank Schwindel (18) is greeted after hitting a grand slam home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the seventh inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 5, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Cubs first baseman Frank Schwindel (18) is greeted after hitting a grand slam home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the seventh inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Tigers infielder Spencer Torkelson
Jul 10, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, United States; Detroit Tigers infielder Spencer Torkelson (73) at bat during a summer camp intrasquad game at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

#3: Detroit Tigers

Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene look to be on their way to the Major League squad at some point in 2022. Torkelson played from High-A all the way through to Triple-A, hitting well above average at every single level. Greene played 40 games in Triple-A with a 153 WRC+ and .953 OPS. Depending on what rules are changed during the lockout, I could see both of these guys either making the Opening Day roster or brought up some time in late April or early May.

They will be joining a couple other young hitters in Jeimer Candelario and Akil Baddoo who look to build on their production last season. As well as some other okay hitters through the lineup in Robbie Grossman, Jonathan Schoop, and some other prospect that have seen Major League time in Isaac Paredes or Daz Cameron. A more quiet name that played great in the minors last season is Ryan Kriedler, who could fill in at second base nicely.

Also, the Tigers signed Javier Baez to be the shortstop that leads this team into the future. I think he could be a solid option moving forward. However, if you want to see my deeper thoughts on the move you can find them here.

The rotation is where this team gets really interesting. Former number one overall pick Casey Mize, along with Tarik Skubal and Matt Manning all have top of the rotation potential. All three have also struggled at the Major League level so far, but those ceilings could still be reachable as they adjust to hitters and continue to improve their games. They also signed Eduardo Rodriguez this offseason to be the de facto ace of the team, which looks like a solid pairing given his career performance and the state of this team.

Detroit is loaded with pitching talent as they still have others in the farm that could come up and help this team in some form or fashion in upcoming seasons in Alex Faedo and Joey Wentz. Faedo is coming off of a UCL injury this past season and Wentz struggled with his command a lot in 2021 but still has great stuff.

Miguel Cabrera is still under contract for two more seasons pulling in $30 million for each. Now, along with Javier Baez and Eduardo Rodriguez contracts, Detroit sits at $103 million total in salary. I don’t see them doing too much else this offseason other than maybe a veteran pitcher and some bullpen pieces.

With the two new signings and two new prospects set to make their debuts in 2022, this team has pushed forward to potentially breaking out of their rebuild and towards playoff contention. I think they might have already been there if Detroit decided to go all out for Carlos Correa rather than Javy Baez. The pitching keeps this team a little behind as well as a lack of proven MLB quality bats, but their potential is one of the highest in the league.