5 free agents the Detroit Tigers need to sign following the lockout

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers, Collin McHugh
(Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /

We’ve got baseball back, people.  Many of us baseball fans were rejoiced to hear the news late Thursday afternoon that we’d indeed be getting Detroit Tigers baseball back in 2022; I couldn’t help but remember how many quality big-leaguers are left unsigned and who general manager Al Avila may add as the organization flocks to Florida for the start of Spring Training.

The Detroit Tigers were busy ahead of the lockout adding three significant pieces to their roster headlined but star shortstop, Javier Baez.

The Tigers also brought in a highly regarded top-of-the-rotation left-handed starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriquez along with acquiring catcher Tucker Barnhart in a trade with the Cincinnati Reds.

When you pencil those three pieces into the mix that already includes a future Hall Of Famer in Miguel Cabrera and budding stars Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal, Akil Baddoo, along with veterans Jeimer Candelario, Jonathan Schoop, and Robbie Grossman and a tremendous manager like A.J. Hinch this club has the makings of a .500 ball club that may even push for a final Wild Card spot in 2022.

The Detroit Tigers should target free agent Collin McHugh.

Collin McHugh pitched incredibly well last season as a reliever for Tampa Bay, this following opting out of the 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

There is an obvious connection here, McHugh spent six seasons as a member of the Houston Astros, winning the 2017 World Series with current Tigers manager A.J. Hinch at the helm.

McHugh successfully transitioned from being a middle-of-the-rotation starter to a valuable high leveraged reliever last season.  McHugh tossed 64 innings striking out 74 batters in 2021, posting a miraculous 1.55 ERA and a WHIP of 0.938.

McHugh also started seven games with the Rays, but he was mainly utilized as an ‘opener’ rather than a traditional starting pitcher in those appearances.

This is someone the Tigers need to consider to help bolster and stabilize a bullpen that struggles to be consistent at times.