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
PEORIA, AZ – FEBRUARY 18: Pitcher Mark Melancon #33 of the San Diego Padres throws a bullpen session on February 18, 2021, in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images) /

Mark Melancon is one of the unicorns in the game: a reliever who has built a career of consistency across multiple organizations. Across his 12-year career thus far, Melancon has amassed a 2.85 ERA in 606 games exclusively in a relief role. He’s not the flamethrower he once was–in 2020, his fastball velocity ranked in the 34th percentile in the game, but his exit velocity was in the 38th percentile as well, suggesting that despite his loss of velocity, he is still creative enough to miss barrels and ultimately be effective.

Should the Detroit Tigers Have Signed Mark Melancon?

I actually agree with the Detroit Tigers’ approach of not really going after any relief arms this offseason. They have a young, sneaky-good core that should allow them to weather the storm of the 162-game season with some reinforcements and depth in the minor leagues.

Mark Melancon is an upgrade and could give the club Shane Greene-like production when he was with the club, but with Gregory Soto, Bryan Garcia, Jose Cisnero, and Buck Farmer already locking down spots and fully capable to handle high-leverage situations, it does make sense to allocate the limited financial resources elsewhere.

Here are Melancon’s numbers thus far:

If Melancon turned in this type of production across a full season, the Padres would be happy with their $2 million investment. He’s not lights-out closer material, but they also are not paying him like a lights-out closer. A nice pick-up for the Pads to bridge the gap to their late-inning arms.

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