2017 Detroit Tigers
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2017 Detroit Tigers / Franchise: Detroit Tigers / BR Team Page
Managed by Brad Ausmus
History, Comments, Contributions
Just before the 2017 Detroit Tigers headed to spring training, the team was shaken by the news that their owner, Mike Ilitch, had passed away at 87. He had been very much involved in all strategic decisions affecting the team since purchasing the Tigers in 1992, particularly those affecting major signings, and was a beloved figure in Detroit because of his business and philanthropic dealings and his passionate support for the Tigers and the Detroit Red Wings of the NHL, which he also owned. He was succeeded by his son Chris Ilitch.
The Tigers went into the season with some hope of competing with the Cleveland Indians for the AL Central title, but it was the Minnesota Twins who were the surprise team in the division, leaving the Tigers as also-rans. Bullpen problems were among the main woes affecting the team, although a sub-par season from 1B Miguel Cabrera, bothered by back stiffness all season, also did not help. The Tigers began looking towards the future after the All-Star break when they traded OF J.D. Martinez to the Arizona Diamondbacks in return for prospects. That trend accelerated on August 31st when they made two more deals to rid themselves of big long-term contracts, sending OF Justin Upton, who was having an excellent season, to the Los Angeles Angels, and long-time ace pitcher Justin Verlander to the Houston Astros. The deals netted them four more prospects and a player to be named later in addition to the salary relief, but also made it clear that 2018 would be a re-building year.
The Tigers had an absolutely brutal month of September, losing 22 of their first 26 games that month. As had been widely speculated, the team announced that manager Brad Ausmus would not return in 2018, although he was allowed to finish the season.
Awards and Honors
- Anthony Fenech: "Frustration mounts as Detroit Tigers fall closer to last place", The Detroit Free Press, June 20, 2017.