With many top MLB free agents flying off the board, when will the Detroit Tigers strike?

Tigers need shortstop, starting pitcher

Detroit Tigers General Manager Al Avila during a news conference Feb. 10, 2017. (WDIV)

DETROIT – Everybody knows the Detroit Tigers aren’t done signing free agents this offseason, but with many of the top targets signing this week, when is the time to strike?

The Tigers jumped out to a fast start this offseason, trading for defensive whiz Tucker Barnhart to pair with Eric Haase behind the plate and adding Eduardo Rodriguez to the starting rotation.

In the two weeks since the Rodriguez news broke, many of the top free agents have signed elsewhere:

  • Shortstop Corey Seager signed with the Texas Rangers.
  • Outfielder Starling Marte signed with the New York Mets.
  • Starting pitcher Max Scherzer signed with the Mets.
  • Starting pitcher Robbie Ray signed with the Seattle Mariners.
  • Starting pitcher Kevin Gausman signed with the Toronto Blue Jays.
  • Infielder Marcus Semien signed with the Rangers.
  • Starting pitcher Justin Verlander signed with the Houston Astros.
  • Starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard signed with the Los Angeles Angels.
  • Outfielder Mark Canha signed with the Mets.
  • Third baseman Eduardo Escobar signed with the Mets.
  • Starting pitcher Jon Gray signed with the Rangers.
  • Starting pitcher Steven Matz signed with the St. Louis Cardinals.
  • Starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani signed with the San Francisco Giants.

The past 36 hours have been particularly active, with players trying to get deals done before CBA negotiations trigger a lockout at the end of the month. Semien, Scherzer, Gausman, Ray, Marte and Gray are possible Tigers targets who signed over the past two days.

Detroit desperately needs a shortstop and another starting pitcher, and although there are options remaining, they’re starting to thin. Here’s a look at the best players still available:

  • Shortstop Carlos Correa
  • Shortstop Trevor Story
  • Shortstop Javier Baez
  • Infielder Chris Taylor
  • Starting pitcher Marcus Stroman
  • Starting pitcher Carlos Rodon
  • Starting pitcher Alex Wood
  • Starting pitcher Zack Greinke
  • Starting pitcher Michael Pineda
  • Starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi

If you’ve been following along this offseason, you know how important I think it is for the Tigers to sign one of Correa, Seager (no longer available) or Story. Of the starting pitchers listed, Stroman and Rodon are a tier above the rest, in my eyes.

The Tigers’ young stars are all beginning to reach the MLB level, so Al Avila doesn’t want to leave any major holes in the roster. Will a move come in the next day and a half, or will the Tigers go into this period of uncertainty with work left to do?

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.