This offseason, the Tigers’ company line was one of frugality; there simply wasn’t enough financial flexibility to sign any more big names. That all changed, however, with the club signing outfielder Justin Upton to a six-year, $132.75 million contract, according to USA Today Sports.

The contract is the third-largest given to a position player this offseason, only behind Jason Hayward ($184 Million) and Chris Davis ($161 million).

Tigers owner Mike Ilitch has a history of making big signings during the winter, however. Past acquisitions have included Prince Fielder, Ivan Rodriguez, Magglio Ordonez and Johnny Damon.

Upton will slot in as Detroits’ left fielder and provides another bat at the heart of the order. He batted .251 last season, but still produced offensively. He 26 home runs and 81 RBI in pitcher-friendly Petco Park last season and has belted at least 26 or more homers in four of the past five seasons. He’s also durable, playing 149 or more games in each of the past five years.

While spending money doesn’t automatically guarantee sporting success, there’s no question that the Tigers should be better than they were last season, when they finished last in the A.L Central.

Photo: Padres outfielder Justin Upton by Johnmaxmena2, via Wikimedia Commons

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