Detroit Tigers: 3 arms to pursue so the rotation can “get-by” in 2021

(Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
(Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Tigers will need to add one starting pitcher this offseason; here’s a look at three cheap arms to consider signing to “get-by.”

The offseason is in full swing, and the Detroit Tigers can start approaching free agents with the hope to fill out their rotation and add some depth. They could pursue a couple of different arms in free agency that could be cost-effective options that are helping them “get-by.”

Last week, I explored a few different starting pitcher options the team could spend some money on if they want some sort of an impact arm. But this time, a look into the cost-effective backend arms is where the focus is.

The Tigers rotation is going to start getting clouded by young arms looking to break into the big league rotation. However, the organization will still need to sign one arm to help bolster things down upfront for the Tigers as the young arms figure things out and fall into a rotation spot.

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Brett Anderson – LHP

One of the cost-effective options the Tigers need to consider is left-handed pitcher Brett Anderson, who is a 12-year veteran of the big leagues. At 32-years old, Anderson broke in early and has been able to make a career out of it.

He could be signed for $5 million or less and would be a depth arm to add to the rotation, also being a southpaw.

Anderson pitched in ten starts for the Milwaukee Brewers during the 2020 season, where he had a 4-4 record with a 4.21 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP over 47 innings pitched.

Anderson may not be a shutdown starter who will come in and throw 6-7 strong, but he can be an arm who throws 4-6 innings and can hand things over to the bullpen. He should be cheaper and is someone the Tigers should consider adding.

Gio González – LHP

Another southpaw, with a few more years under his belt, is Gio González, who the Tigers also need to consider this offseason. González is moving into his fourteenth year in the big leagues and would be another left-handed arm the Tigers could trot out their once every five days.

In 2020, González made four starts, pitched in 12 games, and totaled 31.2 innings pitched for the Chicago White Sox. González accumulated a 4.83 ERA, a 1.86 WHIP, and 34 punchouts over his 31.2 innings pitched. He may not be the pitcher he used to be, but he can still be effective.

The Tigers could bring him in as a back end starter who might even be suited for a bullpen/long relief role as well. He could be a cost-effective floating pitcher that the Tigers target this offseason during free agency.

Michael Wacha – RHP

If the Tigers fall back into the rumors from last offseason, they should go out and try to sign Michael Wacha. He is a 32-year old right-handed pitcher who would add to the Tigers rotation and be someone who helps add depth while the organization is still rebuilding.

In 2020, Wacha made seven starts and one relief appearance, totaling 34 total innings pitched. Wacha posted a 6.62 ERA, a 1.60 WHIP, and 37 strikeouts for the New York Mets. He had spent the previous seven years with the St. Louis Cardinals before heading to the Mets on a one-year contract.

Wacha may not be an exceptional arm, and his 2020 stats are not great; he was tied to the Tigers organization last offseason on possible contract talks. The Tigers should explore signing Wacha once again.

The Tigers starting rotation may be in a rebuild where they are going to start phasing in the younger arms. Spending money on starting pitching might not be the best move, and the front office may look to avoid this, but they will still need an arm or two to round out the rotation.

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These are three arms the Detroit Tigers should consider when going through the offseason and working on rounding out their starting rotation.