The Detroit Tigers' newest rotation addition in Jack Flaherty has been met with some mixed reactions given Flaherty's struggles over the past few seasons, but there are still reasons to be excited. Clearly, the front office in Detroit sees something in Flaherty and want to take on the challenge of facilitating a bounce-back. At the very least, he'll join Kenta Maeda as a veteran, potentially guiding presence atop a young, promising rotation.
Flaherty's mother, Eileen, seems excited about the signing as well. Following the finalizing of her son's one-year, $14 million deal with Detroit, she took to social media to share a picture of herself and a 10-year-old Jack in a Tigers uniform and cap.
Jack Flaherty's mother shares adorable picture that proves Tigers signing was fate
Flaherty is no stranger to the Midwest, having come up through the Cardinals system and made his debut in St. Louis, staying there until the trade deadline this year. The Tigers will be hoping to tap into whatever magic Flaherty managed to cook up in 2018 and 2019, when he placed fifth in Rookie of the Year voting, finished fourth in Cy Young voting, and earned MVP votes. His 2021 and 2022 seasons were hampered by injury, and although he didn't fare very well with the Cardinals and then Orioles in 2023, he managed to stay healthy and pitch 144 1/3 innings over the season.
If nothing else, Flaherty will be able to give the Tigers 25+ starts if he can stay healthy. Incentives have also been built into his contract ($250,000 for 26 starts, $250,000 for 28, and $500,000 for 30) that will hopefully keep his eye on making progress for Detroit. His one-year contract is both a cautious and potentially hopeful deal; if he doesn't perform, the Tigers will only have him for one season. If he does, and the Tigers are able to really compete for the division, they could convince him to stay using the argument that they took a chance on him.
Hopefully, Flaherty will be able to make good on whatever fate put in action when he was 10 and representing the Tigers in youth ball and be able to do good work for the major league team.