This question is a no-brainer for Tigers fans. An overwhelmingly majority of fans do not simply trust Avila in any capacity with this team. Avila, along with Chris Ilitch, have been lack luster when it has come to spending money. To put that in perspective, the Tigers are in the bottom tier of the league for team payroll.
Promising Young Core
I do believe that Avila deserves some credit. He has put together the young core that has been showing promise. Avila has made the sure fire draft picks that have set precedent for this team in the rebuild phase. Avila recently in last years offseason hired AJ Hinch. That move alone is what is keeping Avila off the hot seat.
This young core has come full circle this season. Akil Baddoo is in the running for AL Rookie of the Year along with fellow teammate Eric Haase. The pitching staff with Skubal and Mize has shown promise. Derek Hill has shown he can be an elite fielder and has shown flashes hitting. Harold Castro has proved that he can hit but needs to improve his fielding. Jeimer Candelario is himself again and has shown he can be a leader on this team.
Horrible Value in Return
The drafting and the young core is being established. This does not excuse what Avila has done in free agency and the God awful trades he has put together in recent years. There has been a couple players shipped out that made absolutely no sense. Nick Castellanos, Justin Upton, JD Martinez, Robbie Ray and Eugenio Suarez were all traded players that made no sense. These former Tigers that were traded had no value in return. These trades simply looked like a salary dump with no intentions of improving the minor league system.
Free agency has been Avila’s Achilles heel. This can simply be an issue from Chris Ilitch himself not wanting to spend money. But it looks bad upon Avila as they have done damn near nothing recently in free agency. In order to further this teams agenda they need to spend money this upcoming offseason.
Carlos Correa has been a name thrown around and I am all in on him. Reunite him with Hinch and we have a sure hitter that can protect the infield. Correa will provide added pop in the lineup. The Tigers also need to add a power hitter to the lineup in the form of a first basemen. Spencer Torkelson will spend the rest of this year in AAA. I do not see them calling him up until mid-season next year. In the time being. Freddie Freeman is expected to be a top player in free agency and would provide power and defense to this roster.
Ultimately we know where the Tigers are at in the season. What happens in the offseason will determine what the future of this team looks like. If they go out and spend some money they can easily be a playoff contender next season. But If they do not spend they can simply be stuck in a rut for another season.
Sitting at 85 million on the payroll, the Tigers could go out and sign whoever they wanted. That would simply improve the roster and win more games next season.