Detroit Tigers: 10 Free Agents to sign heading into the 2021 season

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /

Starting Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi

The Detroit Tigers finally rid themselves of Jordan Zimmermann’s lucrative contract but could use a polished starter or two to insert into their lackluster starting rotation.

It’s a Tigers rotation that had been expected to be led by Matthew Boyd, but after providing the organization with an awful 6.71 earned run average in 2020, it’s hard to run him onto the hill and expect good things.

The Tigers also saw the return of Michael Fulmer last season after successfully recovering from Tommy John surgery. Still, his role was as an ‘opener,’ usually trying to pitch three successful innings before departing.

Suppose the Tigers can maintain a healthy rotation in 2021. In that case, Fulmer will be best used coming out of the bullpen as an innings-eater, spot starter, or even in specific circumstances, an ‘opener’ once again.

The Tigers will also continue to roll Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal onto the mound every fifth day, along with Spencer Turnbull.  This leaves two open rotation spots for Boyd, Fulmer, Norris and a couple of free agents to compete for in 2021.

Jake Odorizzi made just four starts in 2020 with the Minnesota Twins due to a back injury, and a blister earning an era of 6.59 through 13.2 innings pitched.

Odorizzi spent the last three seasons with the Twins, and in 2019 posted tremendous numbers; in fact, he’d likely be Detroit’s ace if he could mirror his 2019 statistics.  Odorizzi tossed 159 innings while posting an impressive 3.51 earned run average, the second-best of his career, striking out a career-high 178 batters.

Odorizzi would be a solid signing for Avila and the Tigers.