Detroit Tigers: Three notable names the team should bring on as depth pieces
Detroit Tigers executive vice president of baseball operations and general manager Al Avila could do with more depth signings. Here are three fits in Vidal Nuno, Kevin Siegrist and Danny Espinosa.
Detroit Tigers fans could conceivably see the franchise make a number of additions by way of minor league signings this winter.
The team will be relying more on younger players moving forward.
With that being said, many teams need veterans to act as insurance, or a fallback option behind young players.
The Tigers are one of those teams.
These players could begin in Toledo, but could also work their way into the Major League picture.
There’s plenty of potential to be had up and down the free agent market.
Ideally one or more of these players could conceivably become a contributor or even an eventual trade chip for the Tigers.
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Nuno struggled mightily in a 12-game stint with the Baltimore Orioles in 2017, allowing 23 hits, 17 earned runs, 10 walks and seven home runs in just 14.2 innings.
However, he’s a prime bounce-back candidate thanks to a solid track record.
Entering the 2017 season, Nuno owned a 1.260 WHIP and a 4.02 ERA in 329 career innings. He has experience starting games.
However, Nuno holds plenty of appeal as a left-handed depth option. Despite his recent struggles, just two relievers in baseball have a better strand rate since the start of the 2015 season.
Those two relievers?
Andrew Miller and Wade Davis.
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A former late-inning arm for the St. Louis Cardinals, Siegrist was highly effective as recently as 2016 when he struck out 9.6 batters per nine innings to go along with a 3.68 SIERA and a 1.10 WHIP in 61.2 frames.
All told, the left-hander owns a career 3.04 ERA and a 3.64 FIP in 245.2 innings out of the bullpen. What’s more, his swinging strike percentage has finished at 10.0% or higher in each of the last three seasons.
He could make for an intriguing buy-low candidate after turning in a 4.29 SIERA and a 4.81 ERA in 39.1 innings split between the Cardinals and Phillies.
Espinosa would purely be a depth signing for the Detroit Tigers if Jose Iglesias and Ian Kinsler are dealt, as he had another down year at the plate in 2017.
A dependable fielder, the former Nationals infielder hit just .173 with a .245 on-base percentage, a 41 wRC+ and a .232 wOBA.
This was the second straight year that Espinosa posted a .261 BABIP, which could be part of the reason his offensive production has cratered since the 2015 campaign.
To that point, the veteran had generally come away with BABIP numbers in and around the .300 mark.
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Able to play all four infield positions, Espinosa also brings some pop. He’s mashed 43 home runs in the last three seasons. Not bad for a middle infielder.