Jayden's Journal: Tiger rebuild endless - The Lookout - LCC's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1959
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Jayden's Journal: Tiger rebuild endless

Jayden Hewitt

Jayden Hewitt

By Jayden Hewitt
Sports Editor

The Detroit Tigers have seemingly been “rebuilding” since the 2017 season. The teardown was landmarked by trading Justin Verlander, one of the best Tigers ever.

Since then the Tigers have been putrid, to say the least. The last time the Tigers compiled a winning record was 2016.

So, what is a rebuild? Why have the Tigers been so bad at it? Readers may be asking themselves these questions.

Rebuilding a roster is when a team recognizes that it is time for change; maybe because winning has not come about, or the team lacks deep playoff runs, or World Series wins, etc. Essentially, the team isn’t living up to a standard.

The Tigers have been bad for a plethora of reasons. Refusing to spend money on players they should have re-signed is one reason. Specifically, one was current New York Mets pitcher Max Scherzer. More examples come to mind, but to spare the rant, I’ll leave it at that.

Admittedly, it was a bleak time in 2017. Maybe trading Verlander and J.D. Martinez was warranted, but it’s done nothing for the franchise in the long run.

That’s where an even larger problem began. Dave Dombrowski, the former Tigers GM, was relieved of his duties.

While Dombrowski’s team building hadn’t netted much in the 2010s, he was responsible for acquiring some of the Tigers’ best players ever. I mean, trading for Miguel Cabrera speaks for itself, on top of several other great trades and signings.

Dombrowski had his faults. He didn’t draft spectacularly, nor did he always have the greatest farm systems. But he knew how to get a deal done. He knew how to make a signing. His teams made the playoffs.

His successor, Al Avila, is who ruined the Tigers for years to come. He most notably got awful trade returns on Verlander, Martinez, Ian Kinsler, etc. Those returns have done nothing for the Tigers, and no player involved has seen notable time for the team.

Avila drafted OK in his time with the Tigers, which is now thankfully over.

Players such as Riley Greene, Spencer Torkelson (who is finally playing well) and Matt Manning, to name a few, are players who come to mind when thinking of successful draft picks. But the Tigers’ farm system is currently rated among the worst in Major League Baseball.

It’s hard to summarize the Tigers’ woes in such a brief piece, but to top it off Avila stuck the Tigers with Javier Baez on a six-year, $140 million dollar deal.

Baez has simply not performed well. He hit just .238 with 17 home runs in 144 games last year, and also led the Major League in errors. And he is off to a terrible start offensively so far this season.

Baez does have an opt-out option after the year, but don’t expect him to opt out unless he performs well. If he does play well, look for new Tigers President of Baseball Operations Scott Harris to try to deal Baez.

Rebuilds die when a team puts money into players who don’t play like they’re worth it.

What the Detroit Tigers need is young guys to pan out. Torkelson and Greene need to carry a large offensive load in a weak lineup.

Legend Miguel Cabrera is now in his last year, and needs to be sent off well.

The next rebuild, in what seems to be the third or fourth rebuild in recent memory, will hopefully be the last before we see some success.

The team will be exciting to see when projected pitching aces Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal return from injuries.

There is talent in the organization. Whether anyone can execute is a different story.



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