Detroit Tigers: Ryan Webb as a Relief Option

benrosener
Apr 30, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Ryan Webb (54) pitches during the sixth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 30, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Ryan Webb (54) pitches during the sixth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit

Despite recent pitching acquisitions, the Detroit Tigers could be in the market for more pitching according to general manager Al Avila.

Even after signing Justin Upton, the Detroit Tigers don’t appear to be done adding players. Avila recently suggested that he wanted “more depth in pitching” (per MLB.com’s Jason Beck). The general manager called the pitching depth “adequate right now.”

While Kyle Lohse remains an intriguing option, the bullpen could use some depth.

Newly-acquired closer Francisco Rodriguez is assured of a job, as are Mark Lowe, Alex Wilson, Justin Wilson and Blaine Hardy. Additionally, Drew VerHagen could be in line for a job after pitching to a 2.05 ERA in 26.1 innings down the stretch last season.

While all six of the aforementioned pitchers look to be dependable and effective options for the Detroit Tigers in 2016, the rest of the relievers in the bullpen are uncertainties. Among the uncertainties are Kyle Ryan, Buck Farmer, Bruce Rondon, Angel Nesbitt, Jeff Ferrell and Jose Valdez. Below are the group’s 2015 stats

[table id=17 /]

Those numbers don’t exactly inspire confidence, do they?

The Tigers need some more depth. In a perfect world, pitchers Farmer, Nesbitt, Ferrell and Valdez should be continuing to gain experience at Triple-A, not being thrown into the fire in Detroit.

Luckily for the team, there are plenty of free agents who could help.

More from Motor City Bengals

Ryan Webb is one such free agent.

The 29-year-old has had an excellent Major-League career since joining the San Diego Padres in 2009. Webb most recently pitched for division-rival Cleveland, posting a 3.20 ERA in 50.2 innings pitched. However, the reliever remains unsigned.

With a number of significant free agent relievers off the market, it is possible the Tigers could sign Webb. If Avila can sign the right-handed pitcher to an affordable deal, he should.

Here’s four different relief pitchers’ stats since 2009. All four were free agents at the beginning of the offseason.

[table id=18 /]

Player A is Tony Sipp, who signed a three-year, $18 million deal with the Houston Astros. Player B is new Tiger Mark Lowe. Lowe’s deal with Detroit is worth $11 million over two years. Player C is Webb and Player D is Shawn Kelley. The Nationals inked Kelley to three-year contract reportedly worth something along the lines of $15 to $16 million earlier in the offseason.

Webb seems like the superior option. While he wouldn’t unseat any Detroit reliever as a setup man, he’d provide excellent depth. The right-hander would probably slot in with VerHagen as one of the bullpen’s last two spots. This would allow talented pitchers like Rondon, Nesbitt and Farmer to figure things out with Triple-A Toledo.

Next: Mike Ilitch is the Best Owner in Sports

If Ryan Webb continues to be available, the Detroit Tigers should pounce and sign him.

facebooktwitterreddit