In early of April of last season, three pitchers moved to new teams in relatively minor transactions. The trio went on to post solid years in their new surroundings.
Most prominent among the three was Brad Hand.
The southpaw was selected off waivers by the Padres from the Miami Marlins on April 8.
After operating as a swingman in parts of five seasons with the Marlins, Hand transitioned to the bullpen full-time in San Diego and thrived.
The southpaw appeared in 82 games, racking up 89.1 innings and becoming one of baseball’s best setup men in the process.
Hand struck out 11.2 batters per nine innings while also posting a 3.09 SIERA and a 1.6 WAR.
Dan Straily, meanwhile, departed San Diego last April. The starting pitcher was selected off waivers by Cincinnati from the Padres on April 1.
The former Athletics hurler would go on to pitch to a 3.76 ERA and a 1.2 WAR. He provided some solid innings for the Reds, 191.1 of them to be exact.
All told, Straily won 14 games in his lone season with the National League Central franchise.
Rounding out the group is Miguel Gonzalez.
Similar to Straily, he moved to a losing club and provided some rotation stability.
The former O’s pitcher latched on with the White Sox after being let go by Baltimore on April 1.
In 135 innings, the right-hander posted a 3.73 ERA and a 3.71 FIP.
While he didn’t strike out many batters (just 6.3 per nine frames), the veteran didn’t walk many hitters, allowing just 2.3 free passes per nine innings.
The Detroit Tigers may not find the next J.D. Martinez in the coming weeks.
They may not even find the next Brad Hand or Dan Straily, but the fact remains that a number of quality players will become available as Opening Day approaches.
Detroit should take full advantage and begin the process of taking fliers on players. The team really isn’t out anything if said players fails to pan out.
However, if the player sticks, the Tigers will have found a Major League contributor to add depth to the team.