The Detroit Tigers are going to be better than people think in 2018. I can't believe I just said that, but I really believe it -- and here's why. They have Ron Gardenhire. Gardenhire has a tendency to bring out the best in players and really has a strong reputation for being a players' manager, kind of like Jim Leyland.

If you have ever stumbled across any of my previous writings, you know that I was strongly banging the drum for Detroit to hire Gardenhire as soon as Leland stepped down. Obviously, they went with Brad Ausmus and we see where Detroit is today.

Unfortunately for Gardenhire, he won't be filling out a lineup card that has the privilege of reading players like Ian Kinsler, JD Martinez, Justin Upton or Alex Avila -- nor will he be able to trot Justin Verlander to the mound every fifth day.

Nevertheless, with a few offseason signings between now and opening day, the Tigers won’t be the disaster everyone believes they will be. Here are the three players I would add to the Tigers if I were GM, and it doesn’t come close to breaking the bank!

Jonathan Lucroy, Catcher

With Alex Avila gone, that leaves John Hicks and James McCann to handle the duties this summer behind the plate. Signing Jonathan Lucroy could solve that problem. Lucroy has been one of the top catchers in the game over the past several seasons, and he would add some stability behind the dish.

While Lucroy struggled with the Texas Rangers in 2017, his overall career has been great. A career .281 hitter, Lucroy could add some pop to the Tigers' lineup, especially with all the gap space at Comerica Park. Another reason he would be a great addition is that the Tigers could probably get him on a two year deal for a total of $15-20 million.

Neil Walker, second base

A switch-hitting second baseman with pop, Walker would be a great addition to the Tigers' infield. Walker could be that leadoff hitter the Tigers need, or he could even bat 5th or 6th, ideally behind Cabrera and Castellanos -- he is that versatile. The only downfall is that he made $17 million last year with the NY Mets, however, the fact that Walker is still available may help the Tigers pick him up for even a bit cheaper.

Alex Cobb, Pitcher

Ahh, to the best pickup of all. Why the Tigers have not swooped this guy up already is amazing to me. Adding Cobb with Michael Fulmer and Daniel Norris could make the Tigers have a more than decent rotation. Add that to the fact that Jordan Zimmermann told that he feels the healthiest he has been since joining the Tigers, this move needs to be made. Cobb is one of the best-kept secrets in the league, and if he didn’t play in Tampa for his entire career, he would be much more popular nationally. Cobb has compiled a 48-35 record in his six seasons with the Rays while having an ERA of 3.50.