Detroit Tigers: Six Free Agent Relievers Detroit Should Target
Junichi Tazawa and Brad Ziegler
2016 Team: Boston Red Sox
2016 SIERA: 3.25 (Tazawa) 3.43 (Ziegler)
2016 WHIP: 1.282 (Tazawa) 1.368 (Ziegler)
2016 K/9: 9.8 (Tazawa) 7.7 (Ziegler)
Somewhat similar to the Blue Jays, Boston has a number of impending free agents. While none are quite as prominent as Jose Bautista or Edwin Encarnacion, the Red Sox will have players to replace and players to allocate payroll towards.
This includes likely arbitration raises towards the likes of Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Drew Pomeranz, Brock Holt and Robbie Ross.
Should Boston let either of Tazawa or Ziegler go, Detroit should be interested. Both relievers have long track records in the Majors, and can fill a variety of roles.
First and foremost, both would be excellent additions to the eighth inning mix in Motown. Tazawa is holding batters to a .239 batting average and a .269 on-base percentage in 133.2 frames of work taking place in the eighth inning.
What’s perhaps most impressive about the veteran reliever, who has been in the league for seven seasons, is that he’s allowed just 10 total, career runs versus Minnesota, Cleveland and Kansas City.
While Ziegler has spent more than half his career in the National League with the Diamondbacks, he could be an excellent addition to Detroit’s bullpen.
In 596.2 career innings of work, the right-hander owns a 2.44 ERA. While his 6.1 career strikeouts per nine innings doesn’t jump off the page, Ziegler’s unique release point would give the Tigers relief corps another look to throw at opposing hitters.
Additionally, the ex-Arizona reliever does have 66 saves since the beginning of 2013, so he could provide valuable insurance to Francisco Rodriguez.