While the baseball hot stove starts to cool down, the worst team in the majors finally signed some actual big league talent.
The Detroit Tigers announced on Saturday that they were signing Jonathon Schoop to play second base and C.J. Cron to play first. Both were signed to one year deals worth $6.1 million each, with the ability to add on bonus money based on performance.
The Tigers locked up the worst record in baseball for the second time in the last three seasons and don’t have many players on the roster that are even considered replacement level, based on baseballreference.com’s WAR calculations.
These are both great deals by Tigers GM Al Avila. Both are huge upgrades at positions of need and neither are blocking young prospects. Neither player is commanding too much of the Tigers limited payroll and because they are one year deals, if either is to underperform, they can be let go at minimum cost. If either is to perform at an All-Star type level, Avila can deal them for at least a fringe type prospect to help the team rebuild.
Last year, Schoop hit 23 home runs with a 102 OPS+ for the Twins. Last year the Tigers top second baseman was journeyman Gordon Beckham who had an OPS+ of 67. Schoop represents a huge upgrade in the middle of the infield.
Cron hit 25 home runs with a 105 OPS+, also with the Twins. He will be an instant upgrade to the middle of the Tigers line up.
The Tigers, by far, had the fewest number of home runs in the MLB last season. Brandon Dixon led the team with 15. They now add two players who would have had the most on the team.
While these moves will by no means make the Tigers contenders, it will at least add some recognizable big league names to a roster that is really lacking in the MLB caliber player department.