Some updated thoughts on the Detroit Tigers 2023 starting rotation.
On Thursday, the Detroit Tigers went out and made their first big league free agent signing as the starting pitcher market has started to get active. The team brought back an old friend to both Scott Harris and the Tigers organization.
After agreeing to a one-year, $10 million contract with Matthew Boyd, the Detroit Tigers starting rotation will see some adjustments. According to initial reports, Boyd will be a starter, and after a nice step in the right direction during his comeback performance with the Seattle Mariners.
Boyd missed most of the 2022 season anyways after undergoing flexor tendon surgery. While the San Francisco Giants and Scott Harris took a chance on him, it did not work out. He found his way into 13.1 innings with the Seattle Mariners and got things back on track. Now with Detroit, he's going to slot into the back end of the rotation.
This is not the only update, but let's take a look at how the rotation shapes up for 2023 as of now.
1. Eduardo Rodríguez
2. Spencer Turnbull
3. Matt Manning
4. Joey Wentz
5. Matthew Boyd
The Tigers are getting back Spencer Turnbull after he has returned from his injury. He's healthy once again and will benefit the team's starting rotation moving forward. He was coming into his own before the injury and should be able to provide a nice boost to the rotation. But this was known; this is not anything new.
Beyond that, Joey Wentz pieced together an incredible fall campaign out west during his stint in the Arizona Fall League. But beyond that, Wentz is aiming to lock down a spot in the back end of the rotation. With the dominant fall, Wentz should be able to carry that into the 2023 season with the rotation.
But, one of the things that has not been talked about that comes with the Boyd contract is Eduardo Rodríguez and how 2023 could amount. He signed his 5-year, $77 million deal before the 2022 season during the Al Avila tenure.
Rodríguez is slated to take home $14 million in 2023, which is seemingly becoming much more appealing. As Cody Stavenhagen points out, this contact could wind up being easier to stomach for Tigers fans.
Not only is the market changing for starting pitchers, with Boyd getting $10 million after throwing just 13.1 innings last year, but pitchers are earning more. Mike Clevinger signed a $12 million contract with the Chicago White Sox, which circles back to the Rodríguez contract being easier to stomach.
While more dominoes will fall this off-season, Rodríguez and his $14 million due in 2023 could continue to feel better. While he needs to improve his performance, the contract at least feels better, knowing there's an opt-out possibility after the 2023 season.
That said, the rotation is in a better place with Boyd being added back in. There still may be room for an in-between or flex arm if someone comes up in free agency. With Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal on the shelf recovering from their respective arm surgeries, relying on this cast of starters is manageable.
Adding another arm to provide some depth or a veteran on a non-roster invitee deal should be the moves that help Harris continue to build the pitching staff for the 2023 season.