Detroit Tigers Rumors: 5 Possible Free-Agent Targets In 2015

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Sep 30, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Jon Lester (31) throws a pitch against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning of the 2014 American League Wild Card playoff baseball game at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Lester

At the 2014 MLB Trade Deadline, Jon Lester found himself being traded to the Oakland Athletics. A few hours later, Dombrowski would pull off a blockbuster trade for the Tigers, bringing David Price to Detroit. Now with ace Max Scherzer possibly ready to move on from the Tigers, could Dombrowski bring in Lester and add another excellent lefty to the rotation in Detroit?

Lester held opponents to a 2.46 ERA and 2.80 FIP in 219 2/3 innings in 2014, all career bests. He also struck out a batter per inning for the first time since 2010 and cut his walk rate substantially, resulting in the best strikeout-to-walk ratio of his career.

While the A’s were just 7-4 in games that Lester started after being traded to Oakland, he held opponents to a 2.35 ERA and .632 OPS in 76 2/3 innings, helping Oakland squeeze into the post season.

Furthermore, since Lester was traded mid-season this year, neither the A’s nor the Boston Red Sox are allowed to extend him a qualifying offer, meaning draft pick compensation would not be involved if Detroit were to sign him. Lester turned things around in 2014 after a couple of rough years, but a regression to being the 3-4 WAR pitcher we saw in 2012 and 2013 is a risky proposition for the kind of contract Lester will command.