Detroit Tigers: 3 free agent options at starting pitcher

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The Detroit Tigers have a new pitcher coach in Chris Fetter and vacancies in their starting rotation. Let’s look at three pitchers that could fit the Tigers rotation.

The Detroit Tigers keep pushing all the right buttons lately. The hirings of AJ Hinch and pitching coach Chris Fetter have given fans plenty of excitement in this unusual warm start to November for anyone living in Michigan.

The Chris Fetter hire was an important one due to his work with not only the University of Michigan pitching staff but going back to the Los Angeles Dodgers and a few of the names in their rotation we all saw in the World Series.

For one of the pitchers on this list, his work with getting the most out of a pitcher has could play as an advantage for the Detroit Tigers, who are looking to fill two spots in their rotation.

With the Jordan Zimmermann contract off the books, in theory, Detroit has $25 million-plus to spend.  Jake Boes discussed how he would spend the money to fill the various needs on the roster. So, with that, we can use that on how to fill out the starting rotation. So exactly what does the rotation need exactly?


The Detroit Tigers were dead last in 2020 in innings pitched by the starting rotation. Ivan Nova, brought in to take some pressure off the staff, was limited due to injuries. Michael Fulmer was limited due to post Tommy John precautions and Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal were forced into duty. Spencer Turnbull was the most steady pitcher in the rotation. So a starter who can throw at least 6 plus per start would be nice.

Keep this in mind as well. With Mize and Skubal, signing a starter that can go deep in games can save the bullpen for starts that you have the two young arms going in case something happens and keeping them at an innings limit for the season.

Strikeouts & good luck

30th in strikeouts in 2020 among their starters with a K per 9 of 8.05. Yikes. At least, they were not the 1996 Detroit Tigers who statically, have one of the worst staffs of all time.

Whomever they sign, it should be pretty obvious they have to stay healthy. Matt Moore and Tyson Ross were the arms in 2019 that didn’t even last till May and we already discussed Nova so some good health should be required and some luck.

Let’s take a look at some names that could be cost-effective and could provide either one or the other of what Detroit needs.

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