The Detroit Tigers were a bad baseball team last year. No one’s arguing that. But you could make an argument that production in the infield is what sunk their offense from bad to catastrophic. Tigers outfielders weren’t the absolute pits — they slashed .255/.311/.410, good for an 87 wRC+ after accounting for Comerica’s spacious dimensions, which was 25th in baseball.
In comparison, the infield — even including DHs — hit .145/.296/.361, a 71 wRC+ that was worst in baseball. They struck out much more than league average, walked much less than league average, and didn’t hit for power. That’s not quite an infield full of Billy Hamiltons, but it’s awful. The league as a whole batted .256/.326/.441, which means that the Tigers infield wasn’t within driving distance of decent.
With two signings this week, however, the Tigers put a dent in their former ineptitude. The team inked Jonathan Schoop and C.J. Cron to two identical deals — $6.1 million over a single year — to provide a solid dose of “not that bad” to a team sorely lacking in that particular medicine.
On the surface, these contracts are about making the Tigers only really bad instead of…