Detroit Tigers: Two bounceback free agent starting pitchers to consider

HOUSTON, TEXAS - AUGUST 25: <> during game two of a doubleheader at Minute Maid Park on August 25, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - AUGUST 25: <> during game two of a doubleheader at Minute Maid Park on August 25, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Tigers are seeking arms. What will they cost, we are not sure yet. Let’s look at a few names that could help out the rotation at a reasonable cost.

Yesterday, Detroit Tigers manager AJ Hinch was a guest on XM Radio’s MLB Network show “Power Alley”  and discussed the priorities for the Tigers in the off-season including player development and the number one priority, pitching.  Here’s one quote that stands out.

“Adding a pitcher or two is something Al is searching for,” Hinch said. “You can never have enough pitching. Look at the teams that have done well, either getting to the playoffs or making a deep run, those teams have tremendous pitching.

“If we’re going to this right in Detroit, we have to get the pitching right.”

So where to start?

Yesterday, I did a piece discussing the Opening Day lineup 2021 based on the recent comments on how it is shaping up to be another offseason of being “patient” when it comes to spending. Yesterday’s move to sign former Tigers lefty Ian Krol signaled the first move Detroit has made to start the off-season.

As expected, Tigers fans were pretty upset about the move.  But I took it like how Tigers Minor League Tracker took the news because it is spot on.

There are risks for any pitcher the Detroit Tigers are going to sign. Even someone like Chris Archer, who is on the market, because of his recent injuries, it may be difficult to get the same Archer from his Tampa Bay Rays days.

So with these two names, I did not want to say “low-risk,  high-reward” because it fees too PR spin-like. Instead, we can do two veteran profiles that could help the Tigers if they worked out so instead, two bounceback ideas to consider.  That sounds better.

Julio Teheran

From 2014 to 2019, Teheran threw more than 150 innings, including back-to-back 200 inning seasons in 2014 and 2015. He signed with the Angels for a one-year deal and he posted the worst season in his career. So what exactly happened?

He tested positive for COVID-19, which pushed the start of his season to August 5th. We have no idea what role the virus played on his stamina, but he did not register a quality start or have an outing in which he threw over five innings. What was alarming was that his K rate dropped from his average of 20.6% to 13.4%.

The 16 walks in 31.1 IP give you a slight pause. But if he is healthy and Detroit can work on getting his elite fastball and curveball spin back on track (ranked 70th and 84 percentile respectively in 2019) at a discount price, Teheran gives Detroit experience as a two-time All-Star.

Anthony DeSclafani

Detroit Tigers
Detroit Tigers /

MLB Trade Rumors suggested a price tag for one year, $4 million. Brandon Day from Bless You Boys did a detailed breakdown of his stuff and why he would be a good fit for the Tigers because of his above-average slider and a four-seamer that touches in the high 90’s.  I agree with Brandon in the sense because he was pitching in a bandbox known as Great American Ballpark so Comerica could be much friendlier.

Because of his two-pitch mix without a good third pitch to generate more strikeouts, he could be a reliever if he does not work out in the rotation which Brandon also mentions. With the Tigers moving into what other teams are doing with bullpen starts, DeSclafani has the potential to be a good swingman.