Friday, the Detroit Tigers lost out on Cuban sensation Rusney Castillo, who signed with the Boston Red Sox for an eye-popping $72.5 million dollars over seven years. By all accounts, the Tigers were the team that finished in second place for the dynamic outfield prospect.
The signing was seen as a victory in many circles for the Red Sox, who didn't want to get shut out of Cuba and lose a bidding war of any kind. By setting the record for a contract with a Cuban player, they certainly didn't.
For the Tigers, the hard work now continues. Dave Dombrowski probably needs to find some type of an upgrade to his outfield prior to the August 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Ezequiel Carerra isn't an everyday player in the major leagues, and Rajai Davis has proven to be most useful in left field.
Interestingly enough, with plenty of outfield depth, the Red Sox are the team that could make the most ideal trade partner with Detroit now. Daniel Nava was reportedly on the Tigers' radar weeks ago, and maligned Jackie Bradley Jr. might need a change of scenery, as well.
As far as additions before late August go, Nava's remains the most ideal. The 31 year old has World Series and playoff experience, and is a switch hitter who can swing a left handed bat. He's also appealing from the perspective that he's under club control for three more seasons, and his bat has perked up recently, with the batting average now reaching .260.
In the free agent market, the Tigers could certainly shop for an upgrade this winter, but few exist. Colby Rasmus is likely the top free agent, and will come with plenty of question marks himself. Otherwise, there isn't much to be had. A player like Bradley or Nava could be exactly what Detroit needs to bridge the gap considering the element a change in scenery could provide each.
From now until next week, expect the Tigers to keep shopping around for options to solve a potentially fatal problem for their team this season. Don't be shocked if the team which just edged them out in the race for Castillo ends up being on the short list as a trade partner in the days ahead.
In each case, something may now have to happen for both teams.
Max DeMara is the editor of @tigers_101. Follow the site there on Twitter, or like it on Facebook to connect with him.
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