In a move they were already expected to make, the Detroit Tigers are set to sign former Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio to their staff. Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times was the first to tweet that a deal was close, and Bob Nightengale of USA Today has confirmed the news with his own tweet.
Bosio served as the Cubs’ pitching coach for five seasons, including their 2016 title run, before being dismissed last week. During his time with the organization, Chicago’s staff pitched to a 3.81 ERA across 8,693 1/3 innings, good for sixth-best in all of baseball. Starters for the Cubs during that time combined for 78.1 fWAR. Bosio coached Jake Arrieta during his Cy Young-winning season, and the club also saw fantastic overall results from pitchers like Jeff Samardzija, Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks during his tenure with the organization.
Bosio will join the Tigers during a massive teardown, and will be tasked with helping to develop a lot of young players. While Tigers starters as a group have been one of the best in baseball across the past five seasons, their relievers during that span are the worst in baseball by combined fWAR (10.5) and xFIP (4.25). Detroit will hope to turn their bullpen around in a big way with Bosio’s help.
The Tigers are set to open the 2018 season with a group that includes former Rookie of the Year Michael Fulmer, along with Daniel Norris, Jordan Zimmerman and Matt Boyd, along with a relief staff that hasn’t shown much promise outside of Shane Greene. The fact that the Tigers hired Bosio so quickly speaks to their confidence in him. Based on his body of work with the Cubs, it seems as though the Tigers have made a fantastic hire at the outset of a long rebuilding process.