Detroit Tigers: An early look at some possible free agent targets

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 27: Brandon Nimmo #9 of the New York Mets reacts at second base after his second inning RBI double against the Colorado Rockies at Citi Field on August 27, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 27: Brandon Nimmo #9 of the New York Mets reacts at second base after his second inning RBI double against the Colorado Rockies at Citi Field on August 27, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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SP Jameson Taillon

Detroit Tigers
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 25: Pitcher Jameson Taillon #50 of the New York Yankees looks on during the game against the Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum on August 25, 2022 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

I knew I wanted to put a starter on here, and I struggled between Taillon and Sean Manaea. But in the end, I went with the former No. 2 overall pick due to his consistency.

You pretty much know exactly what you’re going to get from Taillon from year to year: an ERA in the high 3s to low 4s, low walks, low strikeouts. He won’t miss a ton of bats. His career ERA of 3.83 is pretty much right on par with his career 3.81 FIP, again speaking to his consistency.

The big thing with Taillon has always been his health. The 30-year-old has had both Tommy John surgery and flexor tendon surgery, and has even survived testicular cancer. But the last two years he’s been fully healthy, so hopefully the injury woes are behind him, for his sake.

Taillon used to be able to dial it up close to triple digits, but nowadays he’s hovering around 95 mph with his fastball. His four-seamer is part of a vast repertoire that include six pitches. The other five are as follows: slider, curveball, cutter, sinker, and a changeup. He has upped his cutter and sinker usage this year according to Baseball Savant.

Spotrac projects that Taillon would have an AAV of about $11 million over his next contract. They predict he’ll get a three-year, $33 million deal. For the Tigers, who are going to need starting pitching help with both Tarik Skubal and Casey Mize out long term, this seems like a good deal to make.

Taillon is dependable when healthy. If the Tigers can improve their injury prevention, he would be a nice fit in Detroit. Chris Fetter could always work on some stuff with him too to make him even better.