Detroit Tigers 2017 season in review: Drew VerHagen
Drew VerHagen’s potential role in 2018
The Detroit Tigers bullpen doesn’t have much in the way of sure things.
Of course, the likes of Jairo Labourt, Zac Reininger and Victor Alcantara could develop into valuable late-inning options. Joe Jimenez might even be the team’s long-term answer at closer, but all four are still adjusting to the Majors.
Other high-ceiling relievers in the upper minors of Detroit’s system like Bryan Garcia, Paul Voelker and Mark Ecker have yet to join Labourt, Jimenez and the others in the bullpen.
Long-term, if most of the aforementioned group develops, Detroit should be just fine in the bullpen.
That being said, they are still actually developing.
The situation leaves Shane Greene, Alex Wilson and perhaps Daniel Stumpf as the only reliable options in the relief corps. Things will become even more dire if Greene or Wilson are traded this offseason.
It obviously remains to be seen if either will be moved, but it certainly wouldn’t be a shock if the rebuilding Tigers dealt the duo.
Controllable relievers are in high demand, and both Greene and Wilson are just that—controllable.
According to Spotrac, Wilson comes with two years of control left via arbitration. Meanwhile, per the same publication, Greene has three years of club control left before he reaches the free agent market.
A resurgent season from VerHagen would certainly help things where the bullpen outlook is concerned in 2018.
Next: Anibal Sanchez is probably gone. Here's who steps into the rotation in his place.
Outside of Stumpf and Jimenez, the right-hander seems like the best intern bet to step into a late-inning role thanks to his ability to miss bats and induce grounders.