The Detroit Tigers will almost certainly sign another pitcher; could it be any of these former aces?
The Detroit Tigers need pitching. It sounds a bit odd when considering it has been the foundation of the rebuild. It isn’t that those arms haven’t panned out, either. Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal have the makings of solid rotation pieces that could be long-term anchors. The jury is still out on Matt Manning, Alex Faedo, and Joey Wentz, too; all who could very likely split time between Toledo and Detroit next season.
Additionally, the club has already allocated significant financial resources to augment its current stable. This offseason, the team signed free-agent and former Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez to a five-year, $77 million contract. So, they have established pitching and they have made additions. That still doesn’t negate the need, though.
Foremost, while there have been newcomers, there have also been departures. Matthew Boyd was a mainstay throughout the rebuild, but the Detroit Tigers did not tender him a contract for the 2022 season, making him a free agent. Before his injury and the shortened season in 2020, Boyd started 25, 31, and 32 games between 2017 and 2019, respectively.
After his rock-solid start to 2021 which included a no-hitter against the Seattle Mariners, Spencer Turnbull needed Tommy John Surgery and will spend the 2022 season in recovery. While Turnbull remains someone to count on for 2023 and beyond, they’ll need a fill-in to log innings if their goal is a winning ball club.
So, then, they have Eduardo Rodriguez, Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal, and perhaps Matt Manning to occupy rotation spots, assuming health. That leaves one, maybe two, rotation spots to be filled. I am compelled to believe the organization would rather not be in the predicament that resulted in 2021: promoting talent that was not yet ready (Matt Manning) and giving significant innings to players who normally would not be starting pitchers (Tyler Alexander, Wily Peralta, and Drew Hutchison).
Oddly enough, there remains a slew of veteran pitching with all-star backgrounds who may not be their former selves, but remain effective and could be a valuable part of a rotation. Should the Detroit Tigers take a run at any of them?