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The new-look Tigers will have some familiarity at second base.
After signing a one-year prove-it contract with the Detroit Tigers last offseason, Jonathan Schoop will take a similar approach in 2021. Schoop has signed a short-term deal to stay in the Motor City for a team that desperately needs his services. With Schoop in tow, the Tigers can remain committed to the development of their infield prospects, rather than forcing them to take on a starting position before they’re ready.
Detroit will start Schoop at second, allowing Nike Goodrum to take on his usual utility role, rather than being the everyday second baseman. It also gives them more flexibility with their young players, including Isaac Paredes and Willi Castro.
The Tigers look to take a step forward in their rebuild this season
For Tigers fans, the last 3-4 years have not been kind, as they’ve seen the majority of their stars either traded or jettisoned elsewhere. Al Avila and Co. have accepted the rebuilding challenge in front of them, but it’s a slow process.
The Tigers hopefully sped up that process by bringing in the right manager. Despite the sign-stealing scandal not too far in his rear-view mirror, AJ Hinch landed a new gig shortly after his one-year suspension.
Hinch is familiar with the Tigers situation, as he went through a similar stretch in Houston before the Astros became the ‘world champion’ Astros. With the right combination of veteran players and up-and-coming young talent, the Tigers could surprise some people this season.
They’ll be counting on Schoop to perhaps out-perform his contract in order to make that thought a reality.