The Detroit Tigers have a problem on their hands.  No, I'm not talking about the anemic offense.  And I'm not talking about manager A.J. Hinch trying to lose games by taking out his starting pitchers after 6 innings almost every single night.

I'm talking about the guy who's turned out to be the ace of a much improved pitching staff.  That man is left-handed starter Tarik Skubal (pictured above).

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Skubal has turned into one of the best starting pitchers in Major League Baseball.  As of this writing (morning of May 31st), Skubal is 7-1 with a 2.01 earned run average (ERA).  He's struck out 80 guys and walked only 11.  His WHIP (walks & hits per innings pitched) is 0.82, which is outstanding.

Barring injury, he will be in the MLB All-Star Game in July.  And he could be the American League's starting pitcher in the Mid-Summer Classic.

But the problem is, because of his success, his monetary value will increase greatly in the coming years.  In 2024, he's "only" making $2.65 million.

Skubal can be a free agent after the 2026 season.  And if he stays healthy and keeps pitching great, he's going to make gobs of money.  So the Tigers have a you give him a contract extension now (or after this season), or trade him before he hits free agency in two years?


You're telling everybody that you're going to build your roster around him.  Skubal would be the cornerstone and the face of the franchise.  That's a good thing, unless he starts stinking the joint out as soon as he gets his big money (see Carlos Zambrano).



Then it's just a matter of time until the Tigers trade him to a bigger market team.  This would be Juan Soto 2.0.  Remember when the Washington Nationals offered Soto more than $400 million over 15 years and Soto rejected it?  This would be exactly the same thing.  That means that Skubal only cares about money and that the Tigers would have to trade him for prospects or risk losing him for nothing in free agency in two years.


Then you're the Oakland A's.  You're just a farm team for a big market teams.  You draft and develop your draft picks, and then when they hit free agency they leave for bigger markets and bigger dollars.  And you're forced to trade them so that you can avoid letting them walk for nothing.

But, it might be damned if you do, damned if you don't if you're the Tigers.

What do you guys think?  Let us know in the comments...

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