The Detroit Tigers signed RHP Jack Flaherty to a one-year, $14 million Thursday night...for some reason. Nobody thinks this is a good signing.
Flaherty's best days are well behind him. Even as a former first-round pick and top prospect, and still just 28 years old, he's cooked.
Today, we're going to further elaborate why this is a such a horrible signing. The Tigers were actually off to a pretty good start this offseason with the trade for OF Mark Canha, SP Kenta Maeda, and LHP Andrew Chafin. None of those players are superstars, but they are quality big league players that should help the team win games.
And then they do this. $14 million, down the drain.
There are many reasons why this is a bad signing. Allow us to explain.
1. Lengthy injury history
Flaherty hasn't been healthy in quite some time. He had a fantastic season in 2019. He pitched alomost 200 innings and had a 2.75 ERA and was worth 4.7 fWAR.
Sadly, that's has good as things have gotten for him. He had an ERA of almost 5 in the shortened 2020 season, and then the injuries hit the following year. He made a start against the Tigers in 2021 where he couldn't throw a strike. Remember when Casey Mize took a bases loaded walk, and flipped his bat afterwards? Guess who was the pitcher who walked him. Yep, that was Flaherty. He left that outing shortly after with a shoulder injury.
The injuries followed him into 2022, where he only pitched 36 innings. Last season, he threw 144.1 innings, which is obviously a huge improvement, but his peripherals were alarming to say the least. More on that in a bit.
A pitcher with a history of shoulder injuries is a scary thing, especially one that hasn't performed well recently. But this is just the beginning of why this signing is bad.