Tigers Ready for Big Sell-off of Players?
With an aging team and not much chance to win, even with the second highest payroll in all of baseball, the Tigers are expected to start trying to deal veterans for prospects to start rebuilding for the future and cut payroll. If they can work out a deal for players like Verlander, Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Anibal Sanchez, or Justin Upton, it’s likely that they’ll have to agree to keep paying at least part of their huge contracts. Making that an even more bitter pill to swallow is that the team already has a huge amount of so-called “Dead Money”. That’s money being paid to players who no longer play for the team. They still owe retired Prince Fielder $24 million, as well as $5.3 million to Francisco Rodriguez, $5.5 million to reliever Mark Lowe, and $8 million to pitcher Mike Pelfrey. That’s almost $43 million dollars.
Who do I think will be the first to go? J.D. Martinez is in the final year of a not-so big contract. His next one will be big. The Tigers could deal J.D. for a prospect, and still have a chance to re-sign him next year. Alex Avila is having a great season, and has value right now. Closer Justin Wilson has a lot of value, but is a guy the Tigers would hate to see go. All-Star Justin Upton is another player who could help a team right now, but he does have a hefty contract. He’s on year two of a six year $133 million dollar deal. Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander and Victor Martinez could also be dealt, but all have big contracts and are not having their best seasons.