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The 5 Best Moves The Tigers Made During The Offseason

By Dan Jenkins

General Manager Dave Dombrowski and the Detroit Tigers made a plethora of moves this offseason in an attempt to keep the squad among the ranks of contenders in the American League. Here's the moves that helped make the team get better the most:

5. Acquired CF Anthony Gose; traded 2B Devon Travis to the Toronto Blue Jays.

Philadelphia Phillies v Detroit Tigers

When the Tigers sent centerfielder Austin Jackson to the Seattle Mariners in the deal that brought ace David Price to Motown, they were left scrambling at the position for the remainder of the season. Rajai Davis and Ezequiel Carrera were left to split time patrolling center field after the trade deadline -- not an ideal situation, even with Davis playing above-average baseball in 2014.

With Gose, the Tigers had to give up their No. 1 minor league prospect in Devon Travis just one day after he was given that ranking. Gose brings with him outstanding fielding ability due to his well above-average speed and great arm. However, it will be interesting to see how well he hits and where he fits in the lineup. He has already put together a decent spring, batting .342 with six RBIs and four stolen bases.

4. Acquired P Shane Greene from New York Yankees; traded P Robbie Ray and 2B Domingo Leyba to Arizona Diamondbacks in three-team deal.

Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees
(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

This move was basically Dave Dombrowski admitting his fault with the failed Doug Fister trade after the 2013 season. Robbie Ray was supposed to be the big get in that deal for the Tigers, who clearly got fleeced by the Nationals in what may go down as DD's worst trade as general manager of the Tigers. Fister went 16-6 with a 2.41 ERA after missing the beginning of the 2014 season. Robbie Ray? Not so well. The rookie went 1-4 with a 8.16 ERA in limited time with the Big League club.

Dombrowski seems to have made up for that trade, flipping Ray for promising young starter Shane Greene, who will fill in the fifth rotation spot for Rick Porcello. As a rookie with the Yankees, Greene went 5-4 with a 3.78 ERA, while absolutely dominating the Tigers in two starts last season (2-0, 1.20 ERA, 13 K, 4 BB).

3. Acquired LF Yoenis Cespedes, P Alex Wilson and P Gabe Speier; traded P Rick Porcello to Boston Red Sox.

Detroit Tigers v Atlanta Braves
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Many fans believe that the Tigers traded away young Rick Porcello right as he was beginning to enter the prime of his career, coming off a pretty good 2014 season (15-13, 3.43 ERA). Porcello spent all six years of his Major League career with the Tigers after he was drafted by the team in the first round in 2007. In reality, the Tigers traded him at the exact right time -- when his stock was the absolute highest.

The return was what really justified the move. By bringing in Cespedes, the Tigers got an outfielder with an above-average bat (and a better arm in the outfield) to replace Torii Hunter, and can even fill in the middle of the batting order while Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez get healthy. Wilson is a young right-handed relief pitcher who has a chance to shore up the bullpen after a semi-successful season with the Red Sox in 2014 (28.1 IP, 1.91 ERA, 19 K, 5 BB).

2. Resigned DH Victor Martinez to a four-year, $68 million contract.

6. Detroit Tigers (83-66)
Victor Martinez is going to have an interesting winter as a free agent. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

At age 35, it was hard to believe that Martinez could put together the best season of his career in 2014, but that's exactly what he did. He batted .335, smacked 32 home runs and collected 103 RBI. The performance was just good enough to land him in second place in the American League MVP voting, while winning him a Silver Slugger Award as the League's top designated hitter.

The contract may be tough to swallow considering his age, but if you look at the contracts of other aging superstars (i.e. Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton and Ryan Howard) this deal gets a little more tolerable.

1. Did NOT sign P Max Scherzer to a seven-year, $210 million contract.

Division Series - Detroit Tigers v Baltimore Orioles - Game One
BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 02: Max Scherzer #37 of the Detroit Tigers walks to the dugout after being relieved in the eighth inning against the Baltimore Orioles during Game One of the American League Division Series at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on October 2, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The absolute worst move the Tigers could have made was making Max Scherzer a $200 million pitcher. The team already gave out-of-this-world contracts to Cabrera ($248 million) and Verlander ($180 million) and would have suffered if deciding to tie up more money in Scherzer. So not signing him to the second-highest pitching contract of all-time (Clayton Kershaw, $215 million) was the best move the team could have made.

Considering that Scherzer has really only had two stellar seasons in his career -- going 39-8 in his last two years with the Tigers -- it's not erroneous to believe that the Mad Max magic was just a flash in the pan. Scherzer will likely do well in Washington just because he will face the Mets, Phillies and Braves all season in the terrible NL East.

The Tigers would be smarter to give such a contract to a proven pitcher -- David Price -- which it seems they are willing to do...

What do you think? How would you re-order this list? Let us know in the comment section below.

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