With the trade of Justin Upton to the Los Angeles Angels, it appears that the Detroit Tigers are in rebuilding mode. Upton has been the team’s best hitter this season, leading in homers and RBIs. It was pretty clear that Upton would exercise the opt-out clause in his contract and head to free agency. Any player in their right mind would do the same in the this situation: head to a team with that has a goal of winning.
The front office has hinted at rebuilding dating back to last year, but didn’t implement it. Now there is no reason not to. With Upton gone, this team has no chance of competing next season. There is an almost certainty that other veterans will follow him out the door. In the off-season, the Tigers will move Justin Verlander and Ian Kinsler, leaving the only names recognizable in Miguel Cabrera and Mike Fulmer left.
The front office further implemented their plans to rebuild by notifying their season ticket holders of what will be going on in the foreseeable future.
With a little more than a quarter of the regular season left, the postseason participants are becoming clearer. Two teams, Houston in the American League and Los Angeles in the National League, appear to be head and shoulders above the rest of the teams in their respective leagues.
Houston, with 71 wins and 13 games ahead of their nearest competition in the American League West, are on a pace to win a 102 games. In the National League, Los Angeles has 80 wins and is 15 and a half games ahead of second place Colorado in the National League West. They are a pace to win an amazing 115 games.
If the season were to end today, the ten teams participating would be New York, Seattle, Boston, Cleveland and Houston in the American League and Colorado, Arizona, Washington, Chicago and Los Angeles in the National League. The one division that appears to be up for grabs is the National League Central with Chicago leading, but St. Louis and Milwaukee both a game and a half behind and Pittsburgh three and a half games behind.