Detroit Tigers Linked to 5 Players

Tigers Linked to 5 players

The Detroit Tigers are coming off a season in which they finished just four games under .500 and in second place in the American League Central. The Tigers saw a 12-win improvement from 2022 to 2023 and took a step in the right direction. The rest of the American League Central, aside from the Tigers and Minnesota Twins, are rebuilding, the Cleveland Guardians are entering a new era with a new manager, the Chicago White Sox are talking about selling off their big pieces, and the Kansas City Royals are still trying to figure things out. The Twins are also going to lose a few pieces, so 2024 could be the year the Tigers return to the postseason if they add the right players; a report has come out of five players they are currently linked to, starting with third baseman Gio Urshela, starting pitchers Sonny Gray, Jack Flaherty, as well as Tyler Mahle, and then bullpen arm Jordan Hicks.

Gio Urshela

Urshela is entering his ninth season, having played for five teams. In his career, he has a slash line of .277/.322/.423 with a .745 OPS; he has 114 doubles, seven triples, 64 home runs, 280 RBI, 268 runs scored, seven stolen bases, and 142 walks. Last season with the Los Angeles Angels, in 62 games, he slashed .299/.329/.374 with a .703 OPS; he had eight doubles, one triple, two home runs, 24 RBI, 22 runs scored, three stolen bases, and ten walks. His season ended early when he suffered a broken pelvis.

Sonny Gray

Gray is entering his 12th season and has played for four teams. He is 98-85 with a 3.47 ERA, a 3.57 FIP, a 1.20 WHIP, a 0.8 HR/9, a 3.1 BB/9, and an 8.7 K/9. Last season, he made 32 starts for the Twins, going 8-8 with a 2.79 ERA, a 2.83 FIP, a 1.14 WHIP, a 0.4 HR/9, a 2.7 BB/9, and a 9.0 K/9. Signing Gray would be good for the Tigers as they’d be stealing a pitcher from a division rival.

Jack Flaherty

Flaherty is entering his eighth season and is 42-34 in his career with a 3.75 ERA, a 4.01 FIP, a 1.21 WHIP, a 1.2 HR/9, a 3.4 BB/9, and a 10.1 K/9. Last season, he pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals and then was traded to the Baltimore Orioles at the trade deadline; he combined to make 29 appearances with 27 starts, going 8-9 with a 4.99 ERA, a 4.36 FIP, a 1.58 WHIP, a 1.1 HR/9, a 4.1 BB/9, and a 9.2 K/9.

Tyler Mahle

Mahle is also entering his eighth season and is 33-41 with a 4.30 ERA, a 4.27 FIP, a 1.30 WHIP, a 1.4 HR/9, a 3.3 BB/9, and a 9.6 K/9. Last season for the Twins, he made only five starts before undergoing Tommy John surgery, and he went 1-2 with a 3.16 ERA, a 4.19 FIP, a 1.05 WHIP, a 1.8 HR/9, a 1.8 BB/9, and a 9.8 K/9. Another pitcher the Tigers could steal from the Twins.

Jordan Hicks

Hicks is entering his sixth season and is a flame thrower out of the bullpen; he is 11-21 with a 3.85 ERA, 32 saves, a 3.66 FIP, a 1.29 WHIP, a 0.5 HR/9, a 4.9 BB/9, and a 9.4 K/9. In 2023, he pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Toronto Blue Jays as he was traded from the Cardinals to the Blue Jays at the trade deadline; he went 3-9 with a 3.29 ERA, 12 saves, 3.22 FIP, a 1.35 WHIP, a 0.5 HR/9, a 4.4 BB/9, and an 11.1 K/9.

Bottom Line:

The idea of signing Urshela is an interesting one. I also like the idea of bringing back Jeimer Candelario instead, but Urshela, if healthy, could be a nice piece to the lineup. As for the pitching, I like the three options but prefer Gray the most; however, if Flaherty can return to his old form, he could be a steal to whoever signs him. Finally, Hicks would be a massive boost to the Tigers bullpen and is a must-sign in this situation; he can be the closer of the eighth inning guy if they want to stick to Alex Lange. Regardless of what happens, it’ll be an interesting few months to see what Scott Harris does to make the Tigers better in 2024.

CJ

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