The Tigers announced this afternoon that right-hander Drew Hutchison and lefty Ian Krol were removed from the 40-man roster and cleared outright waivers. Both players had more than enough service time to elect minor league free agency.
Hutchison had a pair of separate stints with the Tigers this past season, his first big league action in three years. A back-of-the-rotaion option with the Blue Jays and Pirates early in his career, Hutchison started all nineteen of his Triple-A outings this year but came out of the bullpen for seven of his nine big league appearances. He ultimately worked 21 1/3 frames of 2.11 ERA ball at the MLB level, but his peripherals were far less impressive than that bottom line run prevention mark.
The 31-year-old walked 11 of the 91 big league hitters he faced (12.1%), while striking out just ten (11%). Because of those poor strikeout and walk numbers, Hutchison posted just a 5.98 SIERA, and the Detroit front office determined it best to part ways rather than bring him back via arbitration, where he’d been projected to land a salary in the $900K range. To his credit, Hutchison had a decent season with Triple-A Toledo, tossing 88 1/3 frames of 3.77 ERA ball with serviceable peripherals. That solid work should earn him some minor league offers with Spring Training invitations this winter.
Krol also made it back to the majors for the first time since 2018. The 30-year-old worked 18 2/3 frames of relief, pitching to a 4.34 ERA with a below-average 20.9% strikeout rate but a fine 9.3% walk percentage. He’d also been projected for a $900K arbitration salary but will instead hit the open market in search of a new opportunity.