The Angels declined a $10M option on Huston Street last month (per Spotrac), instead choosing to buy him out for $1M and let him test the waters of free agency.
According to the same publication, the buyout stemmed from a two-year, $18M extension he signed with the Angels back in late 2015.
Street was a pretty colossal bust for the Angels during that extension, only managing to toss 26.1 innings due to a myriad of different injuries.
A 26-inning sample isn’t enough to glean much data from, but reports say his velocity is down in the 88 mph range. Street has had a successful MLB career without overpowering hitters, but 88 mph is low even for his standards.
However, there is reason enough for the Detroit Tigers to give Street a chance.
For starters, his lack of innings over the last two years means he will likely have to settle for a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training, an extremely low cost risk that the Tigers should be willing to take on.
The Tigers could load his contract with incentives should he become a big piece of the bullpen.
Street put up 62.1 innings of 3.18 ball (3.73 FIP) in 2015, his last healthy season. He had a 8.23 K/9 compared to a tidy 2.89 BB/9.
He was even better in 2014, pitching to a 1.37 ERA (2.80 FIP) with a 8.65 K/9 and a 2.01 BB/9.
Street is very unlikely to replicate his numbers from three years ago, but if he is able to come into the season healthy there is reason to believe he could return some of his old self and provide a veteran presence to a young bullpen in need of some experience as they begin the rebuild.