The Detroit Tigers released veteran pitcher Travis Wood this week, after he suffered a torn ACL. But with spring training fully-underway, should they replace him? And with who?
This past week, Detroit Tigers pitcher Travis Wood suffered a torn ACL. The team promptly released him. With Spring Training fully underway, there’s a limited market for relief pitchers available. In fact, the Tampa Bay Rays released two relievers recently. Then, there are a few unsigned free-agents left.
There’s no immediate need to replace Wood, however. The 31 year-old was only brought to Detroit to add depth to the bullpen. He had not had success in recent seasons. If Detroit does decide to replace him, it should be with better players.
McGowan and Scribner wouldn’t be the best options, however.
While McGowan had a fantastic 2016 with Miami, he’s had way too many seasons with an ERA over 6. His WHIP is also a stressful 1.381. McGowan’s also 35, and pitchers do not get better with age, as Joe Nathan proved.
Scribner also isn’t a spring chicken. He’s 32. In his career, Scribner’s been average at best. He owns a 4.15 ERA, with a 1.124 WHIP in 169 innings. His best season was in 2016, when he made 12 appearances, threw 12 innings, and didn’t surrender a single run.
Other Free Agent options
On the free-agent market, even more pieces are available. They’re headlined by Greg Holland, the 32 year-old all-star pitcher, who has had success in virtually every season he’s played. Holland owns a career 2.60 ERA. He’s a strikeout machine. Holland had a down-year last year, and still went 3-6 with a 3.61 ERA in Colorado.
Holland’s a dream. Wherever he goes, his team will have to fork over 10 million dollars. The current administration had already proven they want to save money, and focus on cultivating young players.
But on the market, the one standout-pitcher is Trevor Rosenthal. The 27 year-old had good success in all six-years he played for St. Louis, and is a bit cheaper than Holland.
Rosenthal owns a sub-three career ERA, and had a bounce-back year in 2017. He dropped his ERA from 4.46 to 3.40. Rosenthal’s likely to have another vast improvement this season. His 2017 FIP was 2.17, and could be an indicator of more success.
If signed, Rosenthal will make the big-league club. He’ll be one consistent pitcher, and add depth to the bullpen.
If the Tigers do decide to replace Wood, Rosenthal would be a good option for a consistently good reliever, that balances production and expense. If Avila decides to take the lower-cost option, then Scribner may have a hot spring, and find a home in the motor city.