As the Detroit Tigers piece together their 2021 roster, they should explore these three pitchers to add depth to the rotation.
The Detroit Tigers are rebuilding, and big-name signings are highly unlikely; the organization still has to fill out their roster during this offseason. The starting rotation is one of the things in which the Tigers should address to ensure they can improve during the 2021 season.
Currently, Matthew Boyd, Spencer Turnbull, Michael Fulmer, Casey Mize, and Tarik Skubal are the five names who round out the starting rotation. The monumental call-up of Mize and Skubal was a landmark achievement for the Tigers during the 2020 season, but they’re still young.
As these young arms develop and mold into future starting rotation material, they will need some bridge arms to fill that gap. The Tigers should look to add a middle of the pack free-agent starting pitcher who could replace Fulmer in the rotation.
While Fulmer was quite unimpressive during the 2020 season, he may be better served as a three-inning starter or a long reliever out of the pen. That being said, a number two or three ranking starter who can fill this role is something the organization needs to explore adding.
The rotation is not going to be star-studded, and these young arms are going to have to adjust and grow into their potentials as big leaguers. However, adding a veteran, mid-range starter allows the young arms to learn from him and develop behind him.
Beyond that, adding a starter who keeps the Tigers in games should allow the team to (hopefully) win more games overall. Any sort of win improvement is a step in the right direction, given the state of the organization.
Another thing to note is that the Tigers may be able to steal an arm off the free-agent market if things go as they seem. It could be a while before players start signing; given the COVID-19 pandemic, teams are likely to be more conscious of spending than in recent years.
Teams are seemingly keeping their books tighter, as evidenced by the number of players who had their organizations decline their options, leaving some higher-profile names on the market. It seems like there is going to be a reluctance of teams to spend off the get-go.
If this is the case, the Tigers should jump on the opportunity, trying to entice players on cost-effective deals. Some of these players may just be looking for a short-term contract, and the Tigers should only be looking at short-term deals, possibly only one-year deals.
They should be looking to sign players they can market as rental players that are shipped off at the 2021 trade deadline to add some more assets to the organization. Take a look at three options the Tigers need to consider if they want to add a starting pitcher this offseason.