The Detroit Tigers were supposed to be better than this. The team had a promising season last year, winning 77 games against all odds and taking the best teams in baseball to task.

However, the team sits in fourth place in a rather weak American League Central division. They're currently fighting to not be 20 games under the .500 mark.

A big reason the Tigers haven't had the season they envisioned is due to injury. Only one of the team's starting pitchers from Opening Day remains healthy. No team, no matter how resilient, can expect to keep themselves afloat with that type of poor injury luck.

Most teams would simply look to regroup for next season. They'd identify a few guys they wouldn't bring back, trade them off for value, and gear up to bounce back the next season.

However, that apparently isn't how Tigers general manager Al Avila operates. And it's because of his mode of operation that Avila should no longer operate as Tigers' general manager.

The Rumors

The final straw for Avila leaked on Tuesday. The Athletic's MLB insider Ken Rosenthal reported (subscription required) that the Tigers were willing to listen to offers on “just about everyone,” including left-handed pitcher Tarik Skubal. This news alone sparked speculation across the baseball world.

The nail was driven into the proverbial coffin on Wednesday morning. ESPN's MLB insider Jeff Passan confirmed (subscription required) Rosenthal's report that the Tigers were listening on the 26-year-old pitcher, and included a nugget that was unfathomable at the beginning of the season.

“Multiple general managers Wednesday said they expect Skubal to move,” Passan wrote Wednesday morning.

Skubal is the lone aforementioned starter from opening day still active in the rotation. Casey Mize and Matt Manning are out with injuries, Eduardo Rodriguez is out dealing with a personal matter, and they moved Tyler Alexander to the bullpen.

Michael Pineda, who was brought in to provide depth to the starting rotation, has left two of his starts with injuries as well.

For the Tigers to consider trading the best starting pitcher on their roster while they hold together their rotation with bubble gum and duct tape is laughable.

No Vision

What this indicates is that Avila has no true vision or plan. Tigers owner Chris Ilitch proclaimed in April that the team's rebuild was “100% over.” It seems obvious now that there was no contingency plan.

Here's what happened to the Detroit Tigers this past offseason: Avila saw the team play well last season. He decided to start making plays to put the team in position to contend. And he put all of his eggs into the 2022 basket.

Avila convinced himself that 2022 was the year. Despite the team having no real star, and the team still relying on stop gaps in some places, Avila thought nothing could go wrong this season.

Now that things are going wrong, the Tigers' general manager is panicking. The team regrouping for next year hasn't entered his mind because next year has never been on his mind. All that mattered was getting into the playoffs this year. There is no patience in Detroit's front office.

Many people have made the argument that trading Skubal is moving from a position of depth to acquire hitting, which the team needs. However, Detroit doesn't need to trade Skubal to make that happen.

They can trade Gregory Soto, a closing pitcher who has blown just three saves the last two seasons. Soto is a two-time All-Star in his prime and has three years of team control remaining.

The Tigers do not need a lights-out closer right now. And there are arms in the bullpen who can step in and close games in the event of a Soto trade. If Skubal is traded, who is taking his place? Another pitcher in the minor leagues who is not ready to face major league hitting?

Avila is not in a position to consider trading Skubal. If the team was near contention, there's an argument to be had. But to move a borderline All-Star for prospects you simply hope will fill the holes you need is a horrendous idea. This reeks of desperation from a general manager who's seen his entire offseason blow up in his face.

Why Him?

In talking about Avila needing to be fired, we must point one thing out. Avila should have been fired years ago. There are many moves he's made that are fireable offenses.

For instance, Avila traded Justin Verlander in 2017 for three prospects: pitcher Franklin Perez, catcher Jake Rogers, and outfielder Daz Cameron.

Rogers has never truly put it together at the MLB level and hasn't played in 2022 due to injury. Perez has dealt with chronic shoulder injuries since the trade, and currently sports an ERA over 10.00 in the Gulf Coast League. Cameron has played a bit in Detroit but has made little impact.

Avila got next to nothing in exchange for one of the greatest pitchers in franchise history. A pitcher who was so dominant at one point, he was the most valuable player in the league.

And it's not just the Verlander trade Avila has whiffed on, either. Look at the returns the Tigers got for Ian Kinsler, Justin Upton, J. D. Martinez, Nick Castellanos, Shane Greene, and the list goes on. These were players that provided value for the Tigers for a long time, and they got nothing to show for it.

Why should Avila, who's exhibited poor judgment time and time again, be allowed to handle a trade as big as Skubal? He shouldn't, pure and simple.

Considering trading Skubal is another example of Avila's poor judgment, and it's another reason why the Tigers need to move on from Avila as soon as possible.