After watching the Detroit Tigers fall flat in the World Series due to a wildly inconsistent lineup, a pair of baseball writers from CBSSports.com predicted that the organization will land left-handed slugger Josh Hamilton in free agency.
However unlikely it may be to see him in a Detroit uniform, Hamilton's left-handed bat and elite production make him one of the hottest commodities in the sport, regardless of the price. The Tigers will return a fully healthy Victor Martinez to a team that won the American League without him, but CBS Sports' Matt Snyder still believes that owner Mike Illitch and general manager Dave Dombrowski are set to make another splash this offseason:
Snyder: Tigers. Mike Ilitch wants a title, and he's going to spend until he gets it. Getting backand slotting in left field may do the trick, so the Tigers will overpay for Hamilton's services. Sure, they haven't seemed to show much interest just yet, but where were they on until they actually signed him?"
Despite returning a number of emerging corner outfielders in 2013, the Tigers could stand to take their offense to an entirely new level by adding Hamilton into the mix. Aside from the immense price tag, CBS Sports' Dayn Perry thinks that the Tigers' recent track record in free agency makes them an extremely viable contender for Hamilton's services:
Perry: Tigers. First, there's a need for more production from the outfield corners, and Detroit is very much in 'win now' mode. Also, GM Dave Dombrowski has a recent history of making bold plays on the free-agent market. Additionally, owner Mike Ilitch seems to have a flexible budget, and he's absolutely gunning for the belt and the title. Imagine that lineup."
Of the six writers polled, only Perry and Snyder picked Detroit as Hamilton's next destination. Both Jon Heyman and Scott Miller each chose Milwaukee, while Danny Knobler and Trent Rosencrans went outside the box with Baltimore and Colorado respectively.