2023 Preview: Detroit Tigers

Thu Mar 23 2:31pm ET
Field Level Media

2022 record: 66-96, fourth in American League Central

Offseason headlines: Miguel Cabrera is ready for his farewell tour. The future Hall of Famer, who collected his 500th career home run in 2021 and his 3,000th hit last season, said in November that he intends to play out the final year of his contract in 2023 and then retire as a Tiger. After they spent big to sign Javier Baez and Eduardo Rodriguez ahead of the 2022 season, the Tigers were unhappy with the returns they saw and general manager Al Avila was let go, with Scott Harris bired to replace him. Harris and the Tigers sold more than they added this winter. They're relying on what they have in place to hold down the fort and make sure Cabrera's last season isn't one to forget.

Spring storylines: Who is left in this bullpen, exactly? The Tigers dealt two-time All-Star Gregory Soto to the Philadelphia Phillies and Joe Jimenez to the Atlanta Braves. Returning right-handers Alex Lange and Jason Foley and veteran lefty Chasen Shreve will be expected to shoulder much of the load. Sluggers and outfielders alike are waiting to see how differently Comerica Park plays after the Tigers brought in the centerfield wall from 422 feet to 412 and lowered the walls in center and right down to 7 feet. Then there's the season-long story of Cabrera, who figures to be asked and asked again if he's truly sure he won't return after 2023. "I am really grateful for all that I have been able to live and accomplish on the baseball field," he recently told ESPN. "But it is time to go."

Young guns: First baseman Spencer Torkelson (first overall draft pick, 2020) and centerfielder Riley Greene (fifth overall, 2019) had underwhelming rookie campaigns. The key not only to the Tigers' 2023 success but also their long-term outlook lies with these two rising to meet lofty expectations.

Fall feeling: It's been eight seasons and counting since Detroit last played fall baseball in 2014. That's tied with the Los Angeles Angels for the longest active drought in MLB. Nice as it would be for the Tigers to send Cabrera off with one last postseason run, expectations are low.

Odds: The Tigers are obvious long shots to win the AL Central, as low as +3000 at Fanduel. In DraftKings' "win bands" category, bettors can get Detroit to win 80 or more games at +425 -- or 61 or fewer at a similar +400.

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