The Offseason Has Begun, And The Detroit Tigers Should Have One Goal In Mind

Sign Carlos Correa. It's as simple as that.

I understand that there's a lot of really good free agent shortstops on the market this year, and I believe that all of them in some capacity would help the Detroit Tigers become a much better baseball team in 2022 and beyond. There are many good players out there, but not all of them are dudes, and Detroit needs a dude. They need a bat flipping, power-hitting, Gold Glove-caliber leader in the clubhouse. Carlos Correa is that guy. He's been that guy since he first came into the league in 2015. He's a generational talent with what appears to be a Hall of Fame trajectory. 

The stars could not be more perfectly aligned. The Detroit Tigers are close to contending. They are damn close, and anyone who watched them last year will attest to that. But their most significant, most glaring need is that they do not have a shortstop, and they haven't had a good offensive shortstop since Jhonny Peralta left. To put into perspective how bad things have been for the Tigers at shortstop over the last several seasons, Niko Goodrum, the player who got a majority of the Tigers reps at short last season, has a career bWAR of 2.1. He's been in Major League Baseball for five years now, including four with a Tigers. Carlos Correa put up a higher bWAR in his worst full season (not including last year's Covid year) than Niko Goodrum has put up throughout his entire career. A player like Correa checks off every box. It would be the ultimate impact signing for an organization and a fanbase that has been desperately waiting for one for some time now. 

I'm going to be unwavering with my opinion on this. I am done with the Tigers being bad. I want to go a while without hearing the godforsaken word "rebuild" ever again. I'm pretty damn tired of having to tell people when I THINK the Tigers are going to be good again. It's time to take the next step. These fans deserve it. I've had enough of Tyson Ross, Jordy Mercer, Jose Urena, and all the other bargain bin players Detroit has gotten from the scrap heap over the last five years. I understand that baseball is a business, but I do not know why any person would ever own a baseball team if they didn't want to win with that team. For the better part of six years now, ownership has used the disastrous 2015 off-season as an excuse not to spend money on a big free agent. And while the image of Jordan Zimmermann and his bloated contract giving up gopher balls still haunts me, having a lousy offseason six years ago in a sport with a no salary cap isn't an excuse to not sign good players. 

How about we don't spend another five years watching every single Tiger that I used to grow up rooting for winning championships with other teams? There is no longer an excuse to be outbid. If somebody offers Carlos Correa 300 million, Chris Illitch should offer him 301. While we're at it, can we stop with the "Well, you can't expect him to spend like his dad did" nonsense? No one is asking him to go above the luxury tax threshold. Carlos Correa is one player, and the Tigers could sign him to a $500 million contract and would still be middle of the road in terms of overall payroll. Not to mention they have one of the best farm systems in baseball and two top 10 prospects in Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson, both of whom will be in Detroit early next season.

This is no longer a matter of patience. It's a matter of common sense. No one in the Tigers fanbase is asking Chris Ilitch to give every free agent in this class a 20% cut for every Hot-N-Ready pizza that gets sold at Little Caesars. We're asking him to sign one player. We're talking about one player who is still in his 20s and would immediately make this Tigers team better, not just for 2022 but also for the future. Tigers fans have been patient enough. It's time for Chris Ilitch to grow a backbone. Sign Carlos Correa.