Detroit Tigers, reliever Matt Wisler in agreement on minor-league contract, camp invite

Detroit Free Press

LAKELAND, Fla. — Another reliever is coming to spring training.

The Detroit Tigers and right-handed reliever Matt Wisler, who pitched for the Tampa Bay Rays last season, have agreed to a minor-league contract with a non-roster invitation to MLB camp, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. The details of the deal are being finalized.

Wisler is currently in Lakeland, home of the Tigers’ spring training facility, and will officially join the team once the contract is completed.

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The 30-year-old was designated for assignment and released by the Rays in September 2022. He suffered a neck strain in July and posted a 2.25 ERA with 14 walks and 35 strikeouts in 44 innings across 39 games.

Wisler threw his slider 91.5% of the time last season, along with 8.5% fastballs. Opponents hit .188 against the slider with a 25.3% swing-and-miss rate. In 2021, the slider registered a 33.1% whiff rate. When used carefully in low-leverage situations, he can excel because of his nasty slider.

He owns a 4.59 ERA with 164 walks (7.6% walk rate) and 436 strikeouts (20.1% strikeout rate) in 507⅓ innings throughout his eight-year MLB career. His strikeout rate recently decreased significantly, from 31.9% in 2021 to 19.9% in 2022.

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In December 2020, the San Francisco Giants signed Wisler to a one-year, $1.15 million contract. Tigers president of baseball operations Scott Harris worked as the general manager of the Giants from 2020-22.

Six months later, the Giants traded Wisler (with cash considerations) to the Rays for left-hander Michael Plassmeyer.

Wisler has pitched for seven teams: Atlanta Braves (2015-18), Cincinnati Reds (2018), San Diego Padres (2019), Seattle Mariners (2019), Minnesota Twins (2020), Giants (2021) and Rays (2021-22). Four times he has been designated for assignment.

There will be 11 non-roster pitchers in spring training, barring further additions: Wisler, Elvis Alvarado, Kervin Castro, Ángel De Jesus, Miguel Del Pozo, Miguel Díaz, Brenan Hanifee, Zach Logue, Chasen Shreve, Trey Wingenter and Adam Wolf.

Among the group, Wisler and Shreve have the most MLB experience.

Contact Evan Petzold at or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.

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