Detroit Tigers: Should they sign right-hander Garrett Richards?
By Andy Patton
MLBTradeRumors released their top 50 free agents, and predicted the Detroit Tigers would sign right-handed pitcher Garrett Richards.
The Detroit Tigers are not expected to be very active on the free agent market. They have a few holes to fill, notably at first base, shortstop and in the starting rotation, but it is expected that they will dig through the bargain bin to find cheap one-year stopgaps at those positions.
However, MLB Trade Rumors released their top 50 free agents of the winter, and had Detroit making a couple interesting moves. One of them was the prediction that the Tigers would sign former Angels starter Garrett Richards to a two-year, $10M dollar contract.
Bringing Richards to Detroit
Richards has spent his entire career with the Angels – although far too much of that time has been on the disabled list. The right-hander was electric from 2014-2015, but has only made 28 starts in the past three seasons, as stem-cell injections didn’t work and caused him to succumb to Tommy John surgery last year.
Richards will miss the entire 2019 season, meaning this contract would basically be a one-year, $10M dollar deal for 2020. For a rebuilding team like the Tigers, who won’t be competing in 2019, this kind of deal makes a lot of sense. These types of deals have been signed recently by both Michael Pineda and Drew Smyly, and represents a high-risk but high-reward situation for the Tigers.
Multiple teams will show interest in this time of contract for Richards. After all, he posted a 3.66 ERA and a 10.26 K/9 in 16 starts last year – proving that when he’s healthy he still has it. Getting a healthy, productive Richards would be a nice boost for Detroit’s 2020 rotation, which will likely have a pretty new look.
The Detroit Tigers have a bevy of right-handed pitching in the minors. Adding a veteran like Richards represents a risk, but having him in the 2020 rotation would be a very nice boost as this team begins to crawl out of the cellar.