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Friday, December 18, 2015

Al Avila - leading an aggressive offseason in first year as Detroit Tigers GM

This season, there was little to cheer for as the Detroit Tigers failed to make the playoffs. Looking for change, general manager Dave Dombrowski was fired after 11 seasons with the club. His assistant Al Avila was promoted to the GM role. A longtime baseball executive, Avila is best known for signing Miguel Cabrera to the Miami Marlins. Avila had previously been interviewed for general manager positions.

Since the end of the season in October, Al Avila has been aggressive in bringing new players to the team. This is in contrast to Dombrowski, who was burned before by being too patient. Dombrowski was a good GM though, making some great deals over the years. Avila has traded for Cameron Maybin, as well as signing free agents Jordan Zimmermann and Francisco "K-Rod" Rodriguez. I believe the Tigers are set up for a deep playoff run in the 2016 season. Here is how I project the lineup and pitching staff to look like:

There is a plethora of young talent in the American League Central. The Royals are the defending World Series champions, built around a young core including Sal Perez and Eric Hosmer. The two rookies Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton could be integral to Minnesota success in 2016. The Tigers and Royals will be close in the standings and the pennant chase should come down to the final day of the season.

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