The Tigers have designated right-hander Buck Farmer for assignment, according to multiple reports. The move opens a spot on the 40-man roster for Drew Hutchison, as the right-hander’s minor league contract will be selected so he can start tomorrow’s game against the Indians.
Detroit previously designated Farmer back in May, and he cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A before his contact was again selected in June. It’s been a rough year for Farmer, who has a 6.37 ERA over 35 1/3 innings, with an inflated 20.5% homer rate and 12.3% walk rate contributing to those struggles. However, a clear line can be drawn between Farmer’s performance before and after his first DFA — the righty had a garish 12.66 ERA in 10 2/3 IP in April and May, but has a much more respectable 3.65 ERA in 24 2/3 IP since returning to the big league roster in June.
Given this recent good form, Farmer’s decent numbers out of the Tigers’ bullpen from 2018-20, and the number of contenders who could use relief help, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Farmer was claimed during this latest trip on the DFA waiver wire. He also has the option of declining another outright assignment in order to test free agency.
A fifth-round pick in the 2013 draft, Farmer has spent his entire pro career in the Tigers organization, including eight big league seasons. There have been plenty of ups and downs, though Farmer seemed to have found a niche after becoming a full-time reliever in 2018. The 30-year-old is earning $1.85MM this season and has one more year of arbitration eligibility remaining before being eligible for free agency following the 2022 campaign.
Hutchison signed a minor league deal with the Tigers last winter, and his start will mark his first Major League game since 2018. Perhaps best known for his early-career status as a promising starter in the Blue Jays organization, Hutchison was beset by a Tommy John surgery and never really lived up to his potential, bouncing around to several teams at the major and minor league levels, as well as some independent teams. Hutchison has a 5.10 ERA over 460 1/3 career innings in the Show in parts of five MLB seasons, and he has a solid 3.63 ERA in 84 1/3 IP for Triple-A Toledo this year.