Detroit Tigers: Blaine Hardy, Leonys Martin Among Biggest Surprises

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Key Free Agents

DH Victor Martinez, SP Max Scherzer, RF Torii Hunter, RP Joba Chamberlain, RP Phil Coke, RP Jim Johnson, RP Joel Hanrahan

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Relievers...So Many Relievers

After watching their bullpen allow eight hits and 11 runs (10 earned) in 4.2 innings of work in their American League Division Series loss to the Baltimore Orioles, fixing the bullpen will once again be atop the Tigers' to-do list.

The postseason collapse was no big surprise after the team ranked 27th in the majors during the regular season with a 4.29 bullpen ERA. Outside of Al Albuquerque and rookie lefty Blaine Hardy, this looks like a complete tear-down situation, so look for them to add at least two or three of the market's top relief arms.


J.D. Martinez was a terrific find last season, and the fact that he is under team control through 2017 is only icing on the cake. He figures to man one of the corner spots, but the other two starting outfield jobs are up in the air.

Torii Hunter is a free agent and Rajai Davis is still best suited as a platoon player. Power-hitting prospect Steven Moya could have a chance to win an everyday job, but look for the team to sign at least one outfielder, whether it's Colby Rasmus to play center, Cuban defector Yasmany Tomas to play left or someone else altogether.

A Power Bat

While the above areas look like more glaring weaknesses, that all gets thrown out the window if the team fails to re-sign Victor Martinez, as replacing his production immediately becomes priority No. 1.

"One rival official said recently that considering the Tigers' win-at-all-costs approach and Martinez's importance in the Detroit lineup, he cannot see them being outbid for the DH," Buster Olney of ESPN wrote (subscription required). "They'll give him a qualifying offer, and beyond that, the official said, they'll give him what it takes."

The 35-year-old is coming off the best season of his career, and he should be able to improve on the four-year, $50 million deal he signed with the Tigers last time around. The team likely won't want to go beyond four years, but it needs to do whatever it takes to keep him in Detroit.

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