MLB: How Busy Will the Tigers be in Free Agency?

MLB Sports News


  • This year’s crop of free agents includes the injured, but incomparable two-way star Shohei Ohtani and Japanese pitching sensation Yoshinobu Yamamoto.
  • Detroit will celebrate the 40th anniversary of its last World Series Champion team in 2024.
  • The Tigers payroll entering 2023 season was $122 million, which ranked 19th in Major League Baseball.

Turn up the Hot Stove because it’s time for some off-season baseball talk.

While free agents make their moves, top Michigan sportsbooks will have all the future odds on the Tigers 2024 performance. Currently, BetMGM has the Tigers +6600 to win the World Series while BetRivers has Detroit +3000 to win the American League.

Everyone is studying what the Texas Rangers did, spending big in the off-season on free agents to help build the 2023 World Series champs.

Could the Tigers follow the script? Detroit is coming off a 78-win season where they finished second in the AL Central behind the Twins. They played better in the second half the season than the first, and went 17-10 in September. The Tigers, like the Rangers, have some core pieces in place, and have money to spend.

Who Is Out There?  

 The entire baseball world will be focused on Angels star Shohei Ohtani and just how much money he will make. Already there are estimates that he will pull in a $500 million deal, even though he won’t pitch in 2024 after tearing his UCL.

Unfortunately, Detroit probably won’t be one of his major suitors as he will wind up probably on either the East Coast or West Coast.

But there are plenty of other intriguing options. Japanese pitching sensation Yoshinobu Yamamoto is just 25 and projects to be a lead guy in a rotation. The Tigers pitching staff was adequate last year, finishing 18th in MLB in team ERA, but they could use an ace.

The Next Tier

There are plenty of other talented free agent pitchers on the market. Blake Snell won 21 games with the Rays back in 2018 and led the National League last year with a 2.25 ERA. He’s a bonafide ace and would give the Tigers a leader.

Sonny Gray is another pitcher the Tigers should be interested in. He’s 34 years old and been with the A’s, Yankees, Reds and Twins and is a three-time All-Star.

Jorge Soler has bounced around with a few teams, but he hit 36 homers last year for the Marlins. The Tigers offense last year was 28th in runs and 24th in Homers. You can always use a big bat like Soler.

The Tigers Core

Detroit is going to lose starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez in free agency, and that’s probably for the best. Rodriguez’ tenure with the Tigers was marked by multiple off-the-field issues and he vetoed a trade by the Tigers to the Dodgers at the deadline. Rodriguez is talented, but let him go be someone else’s headache.

The Tigers bring back Spencer Torkelson, who hit 31 homers last year and had a team-high 94 RBI. He’s the key part of the Tigers line-up. Catcher Jake Rogers hit 21 homers with the Tigers and Detroit just picked up his 2024 club option. Shortstop Javier Baez remains under contract until 2027, but his performance at shortstop has been underwhelming.

In 2022, the Rangers won 66 games, and the next year they won the World Series. Detroit is in better shape than the Rangers were two years ago. 2024 marks the 40th anniversary of the Tigers last World Series title (the great Kirk Gibson, Chet Lemon team coached by Sparky Anderson). Texas has shown everyone the playbook. The Tigers should go for it.

Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.