Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers: How My Free Agent Suggestions Are Faring This Spring

PEORIA, ARIZONA - MARCH 09: Carlos Santana #41 of the Kansas City Royals during an at bat against the Seattle Mariners in the sixth inning of the MLB spring training baseball game at Peoria Sports Complex on March 09, 2021 in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
PEORIA, ARIZONA - MARCH 09: Carlos Santana #41 of the Kansas City Royals during an at bat against the Seattle Mariners in the sixth inning of the MLB spring training baseball game at Peoria Sports Complex on March 09, 2021 in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers
ARLINGTON, TEXAS – OCTOBER 23: Charlie Morton #50 of the Tampa Bay Rays. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

It’s no secret the Detroit Tigers needed pitching heading into the 2021 season; and what better way to give the young prospects some mentorship than signing Charlie Morton? He’s been with two of the most progressive pitching organizations in Houston and Tampa, he’s well-traveled and well-tenured, and he can still actually pitch.

Should the Detroit Tigers Have Signed Charlie Morton?

This one was a longshot from the start, as Morton reportedly wanted to stay somewhere in the southeast and would ultimately agree with the Atlanta Braves on a contract for one year and $15 million. Everyone was surprised about the Braves’ aggressiveness with their pitching contracts early in the offseason, so this may have been a bit of an overpay as opposed to MLB Trade Rumors guessing an $8 million incorrectly.

Morton would have eaten up three-quarters of the Tigers’ offseason budget, so as with the others coupled with Morton’s desires, it made sense why neither party was ever trying. As with Santana and Bradley Jr., he would have made the club better–but in my effort to keep things practical, turns out this particular signing was never in the cards.

Here is how Morton has been performing so far in 2021:

The pace numbers are a bit skewed here considering spring starts are shorter than a start in the regular season, but the point remains that Morton is still an effective pitcher and figures to have a strong 2021. Instead of someone like Morton, the Tigers opted for an upside play in Jose Urena and a veteran Julio Teheran to fill out their rotation; both of which are wildcards for their own respective reasons. For Teheran: bouncing back from an objectively bad 2020 in which he continued to lose velocity. Early signs appear good on the velocity front. For Urena, it’s finding his third pitch and continuing to refine his command.

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