Roundtable: 2015 Tigers New Year's Resolution

It's a new year, which means it's time to declare some things you'd like to stick to that might have fallen by the wayside last year. When it comes to the Tigers, what is one New Year's resolution you'd like to see the Tigers look to keep in 2015?

Paul Wezner, Executive Editor

In 2015, the Tigers have put all their eggs in the big league basket, swinging a number of trades to fill out the big league roster, at the expense of minor league depth. So, while the big league club has been upgraded, I'd like to see the Tigers make a deliberate effort to begin to restock the farm system - whether that be through aggressive international signings or a revised draft strategy that includes offering aggressive bonuses once again (potentially at the expense of a penalty), the Tigers simply cannot continue to borrow from tomorrow to pay for today, and not have it come back to bite them down the line, or even later in the season as injuries inevitably pop up and reinforcements from the minor leagues are needed. So, while I may be a prospect geek that loves watching up-and-coming talent develop, if they were going to resolve to do anything that they can truly control, strengthening their pipeline of talent has to be on the list.

Mark Anderson, Director of Scouting

A resolution for the Tigers in 2015, huh? Well, with most team needs addressed and the overall club looking like another legitimate contender, the list of potential resolutions is short. That short list includes one resolution that carries a hefty price tag, but also carries the potential for an overwhelming reward in 2015. The Tigers should resolve to go sign Max Scherzer and further solidify -- shall we say cement -- their standing as one of the most definitive World Series contenders. The Tigers have a very good rotation with Justin Verlander, Anibal Sanchez, David Price, Alfredo Simon, and Shane Greene, but adding Scherzer back into the fold would help slide either Simon or Greene to the bullpen, providing an upgrade to two critical team components. That upgrade would be huge for a Tigers roster that has limited room for viable upgrades at this point, and if tackled would be the most impressive New Year's resolution I can think of.

James Chipman, Senior Correspondent

Addressing the bullpen would be a great New Year's resolution for the Detroit Tigers. I mean, it's no secret that the Tigers atrocious bullpen continues to be their postseason Achilles' heel. While I certainly applaud the low risk/high reward signings of Tom Gorzelanny and Joel Hanrahan, aside from adding a few minor league free-agents, the Tigers haven't addressed their weakest link at all this off-season. Will Joe Nathan and Joakim Soria return to form? Is Bruce Rondon healthy enough to contribute? Can the aforementioned Gorzelanny and Hanrahan regain velocity and contribute at all this season? Question marks. Nothing but question marks as far as the eye can see in the Tigers bullpen again this season. While the Tigers already missed out on mid-level free agent relievers Sergio Romo and Jason Grilli, a trio of interesting late-inning options still remain in Francisco Rodriguez, Casey Janssen and Rafael Soriano. Should they look to strengthen the bridge to the later innings instead, Burke Badenhop and Matt Albers are both options I'd love to see.

Neil Weinberg, Senior Analyst

I'd like the Tigers to resolve to pay attention to the bottom half of the roster and invest in depth for the 2015 season. The Tigers love stars. It's a blessing and a curse. It's fun to watch the best players in the game so frequently and star players get that label for a reason, but when the team pays top dollar for aging stars and doesn't pursue modest, affordable upgrades elsewhere, you wind up with Hernan Perez taking the team's final at bat of the season. The best teams are usually the teams with the fewest holes, rather than the most top end talent. The 2014 Orioles were a great example of that. They had their share of really nice seasons, but their strength was that there weren't vacancies like the Tigers had at shortstop, third base, the outfield, and the bullpen. Kinsler, Cabrera, Martinez, and the aces are great, but if the rest of the roster is well-rounded, good teams will beat you. Acquiring quality bench options, bullpen depth, and starting pitcher insurance should be at the top of the list for the 2015 version of the club.




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