The Tigers and right-hander Garrett Hill have reunited, as Hill’s MLB.com profile page indicates that he signed a new minor league deal earlier this week. It’s a quick reunion for the two sides, as the Tigers just non-tendered Hill last week to open up some space on their 40-man roster.
A 26th-round pick for Detroit in the 2018 draft, Hill made his MLB debut in 2022 on the fourth of July and started his first eight Major League games before moving into the bullpen. The result was a respectable 4.03 ERA over 60 1/3 innings, even if a .247 BABIP helped cover up for some uninspiring secondary numbers. Hill’s fortune turned last season, as he was tagged for a 9.19 ERA over 15 2/3 relief innings in the majors and even a 6.02 ERA in 46 1/3 frames for Triple-A Toledo. While Hill’s control had only been decent earlier in his career, walks became an increasingly big problem in 2023, with a 14.3% walk rate over his time in Toledo.
Hill also spent little over a month on the Triple-A injured list, so it was a tough year all around for the righty. He’ll look for a fresh start in his age-28 season, and it makes sense why the Tigers would want to keep Hill in the fold. Beyond his swingman potential, Hill has consistently missed a lot of bats over his minor league career — even amidst his struggles, Hill still posted a 28.7% strikeout rate at Triple-A in 2023. That strikeout potential has yet to translate at the big league level, but there’s no risk for Detroit in bringing him back for another look on a minors contract.