If the Tigers were to sign one more (moderately priced) free agent this offseason, who should it be?
Oct 7, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Home plate umpire Gary Darling (37) gets between Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez (41) and Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Grant Balfour (50) in the ninth inning in game three of the American League divisional series playoff baseball game at Comerica Park. Oalkand won 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Emmerich: I just don’t see many moderately priced bullpen guys worth pursuing on the free agent market. A lefty-hitting bench guy with a bit of pop would be nice but that guy also doesn’t exist.
I worry about going into the season with Bryan Holaday as the backup catcher so I’d consider someone like Kelly Shoppach as a cheap veteran backup to the always fragile Alex Avila. He has a little power, walks some, and hits lefties better than Avila.
Tom Zahari: The Detroit Tigers’ biggest need has been building up the bullpen. There are still a few names on the market that have closing experience and could be valuable in the Detroit Tigers bullpen in 2014. The two names that come to mind that should be cheap are Andrew Bailey and Joel Hanrahan. There are still six former closers left in free agency that include Bailey, Hanrahan, Kevin Gregg, Rafael Betancourt, Fernando Rodney and Grant Balfour. All six could be a fit in Detroit, but Bailey and Hanrahan should be the cheapest because of their injury issues.
Matt Pelc: Grant Balfour is still on the market and, after failing a physical with the Baltimore Orioles, he may come at a reasonable price for a year or two. If Detroit doesn’t have to overpay for him, go get him for the set-up role. That will free up Bruce Rondon for middle innings and would increase bullpen depth. Of course he and V-Mart will have some amends to make from last year’s ALDS, but they both understand it’s a business and will be fine.
Matt Snyder: I’m still on the Ryan Madson bandwagon, especially if we’re only talking a minor league contract with a spring training invite. He’s missed a couple of seasons due to arm trouble, but he could pay off big in the bullpen if he’s healthy.
Grant Stoye: I’m all about either Oliver Perez or Pat Neshek. I love the way they can handle their business, be it against righties (Neshek), lefties (Perez), or potentially both (Perez). I know Neshek would be much cheaper, however.