However, that doesn’t mean the Tigers are going to break the bank for Prince Fielder. Rather, general manager Dave Dombrowski will dip into the pool of decent hitters still looking for jobs. Though the Tigers likely won’t be able to completely replace the 33-year-old Martinez’s production from 2011, when he hit .330 with 103 RBIs, certainly the designated hitter/part-time first baseman role is one of the easier positions to fill. And it will be equally as challenging to find a clubhouse presence such as Martinez, who excelled at keeping the team loose and happy.
Here are the top five candidates the Tigers should consider to replace Martinez:
1. Yoenis Cespedes
This would be the best option to replace Martinez. Cespedes is an all-around player who could take over left field and allow the Tigers to move Delmon Young back to the DH position. This would improve the Tigers defensively in left and provide the necessary protection for Miguel Cabrera so teams don't pitch around him while Martinez is out. Don't put too much stock in Cespedes' inauspicious debut in winter ball. He hasn't seen game action for a while, and teams remain high on him.