Pierce Johnson could be a great addition to the Tigers' bullpen
The Tigers are going to have some openings in the bullpen going into 2024 and some other spots that could use an upgrade. There are no shortage of options for Detroit to choose from in free agency as there are a number of interesting righties and lefties that should be available. However, one name that stands out as a more under the radar option is Pierce Johnson.
Johnson was pitching in the black hole that is the Colorado Rockies organization, but ended up getting dealt to the Braves at the trade deadline where his swing and miss stuff has really shined. The biggest issue in acquiring Johnson may actually be his new team, however. The Braves are really good at retaining their players and value a strong bullpen highly. Assuming Pierce finishes the season strong, Atlanta will push hard to keep him in the fold.
Adding Keynan Middleton would turn the Detroit bullpen into a strength for the team
The really good teams in the league almost all have very deep bullpens. Detroit has a strong base in the late innings with Alex Lange and Jason Foley. Given that the Tigers didn't trade away either of those guys at the trade deadline seems to signal that Detroit is looking to build on that strength. To do so, they will need to add multiple decent bullpen arms and Keynan Middleton needs to be in the mix there.
Middleton was one of the better rental relievers available at the trade deadline this year and he ended up getting traded to the Yankees. His Statcast profile shows a guy that is very good at limiting hard contact and missing bats even with his 3.96 ERA this season. Again, this isn't a guy that will require a huge financial investment, but who could still be an important building block that could help turn Detroit's bullpen into a strength next season.