Detroit Tigers free agent target: Nick Tropeano
Position – RHP
Age on Opening Day – 30
Nick Tropeano has been a nondescript spot starter for most of his career. He showed some promise with the Angels in 2015, but then he sandwiched 27 average starts around a missed year with elbow surgery. He spent most of 2019 in the minors and the Angels released him at the end of the season. Tropeano was signed by the Yankees, but he never played for them, and the Pirates claimed him off waivers a few weeks into the 2020 season. Pittsburgh used Tropeano as a reliever, and while he didn’t throw any harder, he completely changed his pitch mix. He dropped his fastball usage by 15%, and instead threw far more sliders and splitters. Hitters couldn’t touch the slider, and they had just a .264 xwOBA against his splitter. It’s not a sexy profile, and it’s entirely possible this is just good fortune over a small sample, but there’s a chance Tropeano could be a valuable multi-inning reliever in a year when the Detroit Tigers have a lot of innings to cover.