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Detroit Tigers reportedly targeting Willson Contreras and other FA catchers

Jason Burgos
detroit tigers
Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers are reportedly looking at Chicago Cubs All-Star Willson Contreras and other catchers on the open market as MLB free agency is set to kick off on Thursday.

New Tigers general managers Scott Harris has a lot of work to do. Heading into the 2022 season, there was hope the team would be able to improve on a decent season the year before and compete for at least an MLB Wild Card spot. Unfortunately, the team instead finished fourth in the division and earned a sixth straight losing season.

Also Read: Japanese batting champ Masataka Yoshida headed to MLB free agency

The roster could use upgrades all over after finishing 66-96 this season, and it looks like Harris believes the place to start the roster improvements is at catcher.

New Detroit Tigers GM and Willson Contreras have a history

detroit tigers
Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reported that the “Tigers are looking at the catching market as the offseason begins. They’re interested in free agent Willson Contreras, whom Scott Harris knows from his tenure in Chicago.”

  • Willson Contreras stats (2022): 22 HR, 55 RBI, 65 R, .243/.349/.466

Harris was a part of the Cubs organization for several years, including when the team won the World Series in 2016. That was Contreras’ rookie season. In the six seasons since then, he has been a three-time All-Star for Chicago and was one of the biggest names on the MLB trade market this summer. Despite many expecting him to be moved, the Cubs never pulled the trigger on a trade.

Other MLB free-agent catchers the Tigers could target

The free agent market for catchers this winter is not very strong, which means if the Tigers strike out on Contreras they may instead aim for a player to be in a platoon with current roster backstop Eric Haase.

Other notable names up for grabs include former Yankee Gary Sanchez, and Brewers talent Omar Narváez, or the team could re-sign Tucker Barnhart, who played in 94 games for the team last season. All three offer various upsides and it all could come down to how Harris envisions the team under his new regime.