Harris: Tigers Unlikely To Add “Another Everyday-Type Bat”

MLB Trade Rumors

The Tigers’ acquisition of Mark Canha from the Brewers was the first trade of the offseason for any team, but it seems it’ll also be the team’s only addition of a veteran hitter who’s expected to have a regular role. President of baseball operations Scott Harris tells Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press that he doesn’t envision adding anymore veteran hitters who’d be in the lineup on an everyday basis, citing a desire to ensure playing time for younger hitters whom the organization needs to evaluate against big league pitching.

Harris notes that the Tigers have a young hitter either at every position on the diamond or on the cusp of debuting. “We got to commit to those guys,” says Harris. “There aren’t a ton of at-bats available for another everyday-type bat.”

That’s largely true. Spencer Torkelson (first base), Riley Greene (right field), Kerry Carpenter (DH/left field), Parker Meadows (center field) and Jake Rogers (catcher) have all generally staked claims to jobs. The Tigers signed top prospect Colt Keith to a six-year deal with a trio of club options before he even made his debut with an eye toward him winning the second base job in camp. Third base could be a platoon between Zach McKinstry and one of Matt Vierling or Andy Ibañez early in the season, but 22-year-old Jace Jung isn’t far from the big leagues after the 2022 first-rounder torched High-A and Double-A pitching last season.

The veteran Canha will be the primary left fielder, though he could mix in at designated hitter as the season wears on. The Tigers have 23-year-old Justyn-Henry Malloy coming off a .277/.417/.474 showing in Triple-A. He’s played third base and the outfield in the minors, but the team now plans for him to focus solely on outfield work, per Evan Woodbery of MLive.com (X link). Given his outstanding showing in Toledo, Malloy will be in the mix for an Opening Day roster spot. If he doesn’t make the club, he figures to get his first MLB call at some point this season. Javier Baez will reprise his role at shortstop, as his contract is all but untradeable and leaves the club with little choice but to hope for a rebound.

It’s a young lineup, and the Tigers aren’t likely to convert on each and every young player they’re penciling in around the diamond. But the vast majority of their young hitters haven’t even received a full season’s worth of big league at-bats, and they’re all knocking on the door at roughly the same time. It’s sensible to take an extended look at several of their potential cornerstone pieces before blocking them with an experienced veteran. If the club is contention but sees a young hitter or two falter in the season’s first half, it stands to reason that the Detroit front office could look to augment the lineup on the summer trade market. And if poor performance or injury changes the organization’s view of any of their young hitters in 2024, the Tigers will have ample payroll space to make an addition next winter.

The Tigers have been loosely connected to veterans like J.D. Martinez and Matt Chapman over the course of the winter, but Harris’ comments quash what already looked to be longshot odds of either player landing in Detroit.

It should be noted that Harris’ comments don’t expressly rule out any subsequent additions, be they via the trade or free agent market. The Tigers have a veteran backup catcher, Carson Kelly, but the rest of their projected bench (Vierling, Andy Ibanez, Akil Baddoo) has minor league options remaining. Bringing in a seasoned bench bat who could step into a larger role in the event of an injury or struggles from a young hitter would be reasonable enough, but the team hasn’t tipped its hand that even a smaller-scale move of that nature should be expected.

Articles You May Like

Pennsylvania Lottery Online Plays
Tigers Minor League Report Podcast with Brandon Day
Rangers vs. Tigers Game Highlights (4/16/24) | MLB Highlights
Pennsylvania Lottery Online Plays
Woof and double woof as the Twins sweep twin bill on Saturday

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *