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Detroit Tigers: Andrew Chafin mulling over 2023 player option

Tyler Kotila
Sep 18, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Andrew Chafin (37) throws during the seventh inning of the game against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Brian Sevald-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 18, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Andrew Chafin (37) throws during the seventh inning of the game against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Brian Sevald-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Tigers southpaw Andrew Chafin mulling over 2023 player option.

The Detroit Tigers are starting to work through the offseason, and they are going to have some decisions to make. On the contrary, Andrew Chafin has a decision to make on whether he wants to return to the Tigers or not.

He signed a two-year, $13 million contract with the Detroit Tigers ahead of the 2022 season. The second year of his contract is a $6.5 million player option. So if Chafin wants to head to free agency, he has the option to do so.

According to a piece from Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press, Chafin was pretty tight-knit about the decision. While the expectation would be for Chafin to return to Detroit, he will give the option some thought.

This could mean the Tigers lose a left-handed relief option out of the bullpen if he does indeed elect free agency and decline the player option. Chafin was not as lights out as he was in 2021, but he still got the job done and was a valuable piece of the bullpen.

He pitched in 64 games for the Tigers, totaling 57.1 innings throughout the 2022 season. Chafin managed a 2.83 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP while punching out 67 opposing hitters. The punchouts being an important piece to note.

Losing Andrew Chafin from the Detroit Tigers bullpen may leave a big hole.

While Chafin was not closing out games, and the Tigers did not have a ton of high-leverage situations to put him in, Chafin would leave a hole in the bullpen if he chose to decline the player option. Again, the likelihood is that he’s staying, but that’s not for sure.

Chafin has a nasty slider that he was able to use incredibly well in 2022. Chafin’s slider spins up around 2,485 RPMs with a low-80s average velocity. He turned to the pitch when he needed swings and misses, posting a 60.4% whiff rate.

According to Baseball Savant, Chafin turned to the slider as his second-most used pitch behind pitches tagged as a sinker. He threw it more than the four-seam fastball and changeups tagged on his account. Needless to say, it’s one of the better pitches itself in the Tigers’ bullpen.

This is why losing Chafin would leave a bigger hole than some may seem. They would be losing out on a killer pitch in the slider from a quite affordable pitcher at just $6.5 million. While it’s not up to Harris and the Tigers, it could be tough to lose out on Chafin.

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The ball is in his court now, but the Tigers have to be hoping he chooses to stick around in the Motor City.

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