Our Contender November has been a fun look at all the “what ifs” when it comes to the Detroit Tigers and their new push to bring in talent to return to a competitive nature.
The starting rotation has already seen a boost by the signing of Eduardo Rodriguez to a five-year pact. With Matthew Boyd starting the 2022 season on the injured list (if he is even a member of the organization by that time) and Spencer Turnbull out for the year recovering from Tommy John surgery, there is room for more depth on the pitching staff.
Who is Kevin Gausman?
Kevin Gausman pitched for the San Francisco Giants in 2021 after accepting a qualifying offer following the 2020 season. That decision turned out to be a wonderful one, as Gausman put together a stellar 2021 campaign.
The 30-year-old right hander had a career year for the best team in baseball throughout the regular season, going 14-6 with a 2.81 earned run average while striking out 227 hitters in 192 innings pitched. Gausman’s stock certainly went up.
Gausman is of course no stranger to the American League after spending six seasons as a member of the Orioles. Baltimore drafted the Louisiana State University product fourth overall in the 2012 first year player draft.
Gausman saw a bit of success over the years but was mostly inconsistent until his lights out season in ’21. That might mean some teams are wary of giving a long term commitment to a pitcher who has only recently seemed to have figured it out at the big league level. However, good starting pitching is hard to find, and teams will definitely compete for his services.
What will it cost to sign Gausman?
Gausman will probably cost a bit over $100 million dollars for a four to five year deal. I would confidently say he’ll get one of the higher free agent pitching contracts this offseason. Experts have a variety of contract predictions for Gausman.
Why the Detroit Tigers?
As said above, the Detroit Tigers have room in their rotation for another arm. However, after the financial commitment to Rodriguez, it’s uncertain if any additional pitching acquisitions will come at such a high cost. It’s more likely the Tigers try to find lighting in a bottle with a different free agent hurler who won’t command such a contract, or make a trade for a cost controlled arm.
If the Tigers did decide Gausman was a player they wanted to bring in, it would possibly open up some of their young pitching talent to help the club elsewhere via trade. The Colorado native would be an innings eater and a leader for the young club, and paired with Rodriguez would take a lot of pressure off the likes of Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal, who continue to grow at the major league level.
Whichever club is able to sign Gausman will get a pitcher who can go out there and compete every fifth day at a time in his career when he seems to have mastered his craft.