It’s a philosophy that agent Scott Boras thinks largely helped the team cement itself as AL favorites in 2012.
“The intellect here was ahead of the curve in Major League Baseball,” Boras said at Fielder’s signing last month.
The intellect Boras spoke of was using draft currency to improve the big-league product.
It starts with drafting good players with a high upside who are highly regarded in baseball circles.
The Tigers selected centerfielder Cameron Maybin with the No. 10 pick in the 2005 draft and left-handed starter Andrew Miller with the No. 6 pick in 2006.
It continues with maximizing the value of those players.
And when a perennial All-Star like Miguel Cabrera became available for those two draft picks, the Tigers got good value.
“Then you get Cabrera here and don’t have to deal with him in the free-agent market and you keep him here,” Boras said. “That’s using draft currency.”
Shortly after Cabrera’s acquisition from Florida, the Tigers spent $152 million to sign him through 2015.
And following those two picks, the organization continued to pay the price for young talent, making Rick Porcello the highest-paid high school draftee in 2007 and giving Jacob Turner a $5.5-million bonus in 2009.