Every team wants to win now.
For most, it’s a constant balancing act of trying to win today while also planning for the future.
The Detroit Tigers meanwhile have had a much different philosophy in recent seasons. The Tigers have only been interested in winning now, even if it comes at the expense of winning later.
In the past decade, Detroit has stockpiled stars, but has failed to win a World Series.
The way their roster is currently constructed, Detroit could be the laughing stock of the league if it doesn’t quickly get its finances and minor league system in order.
The Tigers have long, expensive contracts on the books (Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Prince Fielder) that are going nowhere. And as the roster begins to age, the new talent that should be found in the minor leagues is nowhere to be seen.
That’s because Detroit traded away much of that talent to place its bet on today. That mindset needs to change this season as the July 31 trade deadline draws near.
Detroit has normally been buyers this time of the year. But this season, they would be smart to stockpile future talent and trade all-stars and soon-to-be free agents David Price and Yoenis Cespedes.
I know, that doesn’t sound very appealing. But trading Price and Cespedes could net the Tigers three or four top flight prospects that could turn into starters in the future.
That is a much better option than holding onto Price, when Detroit is not going to pay him a $200 million-plus Max Scherzer-type of contract or the former Tiger and Cy Young winner would still be on the roster.
Instead of continuing to mortgage the future, Detroit needs to begin thinking prudently, even if that means drawing the ire of fans that have grown accustomed to pennant races.
A day is coming very soon where the Tigers financial mishaps could catch up with the team and having prospects in the pipeline will be key if Detroit is forced to stay away from adding big salaries through free agency and trades.
It has been assumed that owner Mike Ilitch has bottomless pockets and will spend anything to win a World Series. But it would be to his benefit to show restraint as the trade deadline nears.
Detroit isn’t in a prime position to compete for a championship this season and won’t be for several more years if the right decisions aren’t made.
Contact Joseph Hayes at (810) 989-6268 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on twitter @jhayes1136.