11:48AM: Right-hander Anthony DeSclafani is also on the Tigers’ radar, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman tweets. Like Gray, DeSclafani also didn’t receive a qualifying offer.
11:37AM: The Tigers have “early interest” in Jon Gray, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports (via Twitter). Gray joins Eduardo Rodriguez, Steven Matz, and Detroit legend Justin Verlander as free agent pitchers linked to the Tigers’ search for a veteran arm or two to bolster their young rotation.
Given their interest in qualifying offer recipients Rodriguez and Verlander, it doesn’t appear that the Tigers are necessarily deterred by the idea of giving up draft pick compensation to make a big pitching signing, though Gray wouldn’t require any compensation since the Rockies (curiously) didn’t issue a QO to the right-hander. This surely gives Gray some extra appeal from Detroit’s perspective, though naturally the same could be said for many teams.
Gray only turned 30 last week, so if he does end up in the Motor City, he should have more prime years to contribute to a Tigers squad that is looking to get back into contention as early as 2022. Detroit is expected to spend some serious money this offseason, linked to the market for the big free agent shortstops as well as pitchers like Gray who could slot in near the front of the rotation. MLBTR projected Gray (ranked 19th on our list of the winter’s top 50 free agents) to land four years and $56MM in free agency, with Tim Dierkes predicting that Gray would in fact sign with the Tigers.
Signing a QO-rejecting free agent would cost the Tigers their third-highest pick in the 2022 draft. This would be either their second-round selection or their Competitive Balance Round B selection, depending on where Detroit is drawn in this year’s Competitive Balance Round lottery. It is also possible that the draft and compensation rules will be altered in the next collective bargaining agreement, so while the Tigers would surely still have to give up something as a penalty for signing a QO free agent, the specific nature of that compensation might not be known until the new CBA is settled.
Under the current rules, the Tigers would also have to give up their fourth-highest draft pick if they signed two free agents who rejected the qualifying offer. It can be assumed that Detroit would rather not surrender multiple picks if necessary, so if the Tigers did make a big splash and ink one of the QO free agents, it would make them even more focused on non-QO players like Gray for any other big signings.
As far as the Rockies’ own efforts to retain Gray, the club attempted to sign Gray to a three-year extension worth roughly $35MM-$40MM before the end of the regular season, but the righty rejected the offer. It doesn’t seem like any further negotiation has taken place, since Colorado GM Bill Schmidt told The Athletic’s Nick Groke that “there hasn’t been any conversation” with Gray’s camp since “the end of the season….[Gray’s agent] said they’d stay in touch. I assume they’re trying to figure out what the market is.”
From a hitters park to a pitchers park, still gonna suck
Based on what exactly?
The low spin stuff won’t play out of coors
Chipper Jones' illegitimate kid
There are plenty of pitchers with low spin rates who are successful. They just have to pitch to their strengths.
I just don’t think it will play well in Comerica
For $35 million +, take him. Sarcasm from a Rockies fan.
For Love of the Game
I would be much more aggressive pursuing ERod than Gray. Look at their home-away splits. Gray seems to be surprisingly less effective away from Coors while ERod is much better away from Fenway. This suggests changing parks will help ERod but not Gray. Plus, ERod is two years younger. The only plus to signing Gray over ERod is not having to surrender a pick, but projected salaries and contract lengths are similar. ERod minus a pick is still much more valuable than Gray, in my view.
For Love of the Game
With the updated comment from Mark about DeSclafani, I’d probably slot him in between ERod and Gray. I could really see the Tigers signing DeSclafani as their second pitching signing because he should cost less and they wouldn’t have to surrender a pick.
May not be an either or situation. Tigers need two starters so they likely will kick the tires on a few of them. I expect them to sign a SS that will require them to surrender a pick. They are in the most favorable position right now regarding surrendering picks so they may also sign a second player who received a QO. But I just don’t see them giving up 3 picks, so looking at players like Grey and DeSclafani who are not attached to a QO makes a lot of sense for that second rotation spot.
Pretty much everyone is linked to most players until the price tag is set. That is when the true suitors will be established.
Gray and Stroman are the better arms on the market
Too expensive for that they bring.
A team should be able to develop pitchers that are better than that for a whole lot less money.
Tigers aren’t contending in 2022. What they need is a veteran starter – or two – that can be a role model for the young pitchers on how to prepare and how to comport themselves on the field when things go against them. Don’t know about Gray, but Stroman would be a disaster.
Zack Greinke would be ideal, although he’d probably want to go to a contender. Danny Duffy and Corey Kluber would work if they’re healthy. Jon Lester for sure. J.A. Happ if he’s looking to rebuild value and be traded mid-season. There are others that are realistic.
Tigers could certainly compete in 2022. They were nearly a .500 team despite an abysmal first 6 weeks of the season. Torkelson & Greene will be in the majors next year, and they are a lock to sign one of Correa, Seager, or Semien. Add in a pitcher or two, and they’ll be a wild card team.
The Sabertooth Superfife
KoolAid.much? I was under the impression that the memory of Mike ILLICH deserves a dynasty, not hoping to squeak into the playoffs and hope to get lucky. They should be focused on building a future, otherwise it is all wasted.
Has anyone accounted for other teams.improving as well? Fewer teams tanking this year, and other teams like the Angels looks to take giant steps.
Torkelson and Greene deserve to be playing with MORE peers of top quality. To do otherwise is disrespectful to them, diminishing their careers and lives.
Al is not doing this correctly. Why? Is his contract running out?
We’ve waited this long so, why not? To me one is not enough.
When you rebuild and engine, do you go out and put the pedel to the metal? Good way to ruin it and to have wasted your time.
Good fans will be patient. Our competitors hope we do that, ruin the future.
The Sabertooth Superfife
One word – Dynasty.
Hard to walk with four balls
Your rant if far sillier than Chris’s.
“To do otherwise is disrespectful to them, diminishing their careers and lives.”
The Sabertooth Superfife
Referring to a Trout like situation. What Al does, affects the lives of every man, woman and child on planet earth!
Silly, but true, just like this Tiger fan. Weird, huh?
Disco is the sweet spot for Detroit, I think. TBH, I’d like to see Wily Peralta back as the 5th. Wentz and Faedo will be working their way into Detroit after arm surgeries, Red Bull should be back next year. Don’t think they need 2 contracts with that kind of depth plus Jobe and others starting their climb.
Correa/Seager and Disco plus a good high leverage reliever. Add Tork and Greene and it’s pennant contention window cracking open.
They’ll end up settling for Drew Smyly.
I am surprised Giants are not looking to go after Gray.
Giants are very much analytic driven. Gray is not an analytics darling other than throwing really hard, and I don’t see a fit.
just got a feeling Verlander is coming home. the time is right and that should draw fans.
My opinion is that Avila isn’t secure enough in his job to go after JV. He’s signed some pretty bad contracts before the rebuild took place. I think he’ll find someone who isn’t coming off TJS and has pitched more than just a handful of innings over the last 2 seasons. That’s like playing Russian Roulette with you job.
If “Avila isn’t secure enough in his job” the owners wouldn’t have stuck with him this long.
Avila’s terrible 2015-2016 off-season signings basically forced the Tigers to rebuild. Hopefully he can do better than Jordan Zimmerman, Justin Upton, & Mike Pelfrey.
As much as we all would all love this I don’t think it’s in the cards financially. Unless he give Detroit a discount he most likely will go elsewhere. Most likely and I just threw up a little, The yankees..
Seems like the Tigers are fast tracking the end of the rebuild. Good Manager in Hinch and Cabrera almost to the finish line, it’s time to contend
This is the area of most concern with Avila at the helm. Look at the FA pitchers he has signed. Pelfrey, Zimmerman, Lowe, M. Moore, T.Ross, Novoa, J.Teheran, J. Urena and D.Holland. Lots of cash for very few innings, and most of those were not quality innings. Time to sign someone that actually has a plus fastball! And is Healthy!
Tigers, Phillies, and many other team with needs are “kicking the tires”
on all available free agent talent and trade available talent to fill holes on their roster.
It is just a regular course of doing business and not “breaking news”..
One teams garbage is another teams gem. The pitching coach Chris Fetters is doing wonders!
I thought I read that the Rockies didn’t want to trade Gray because they thought the draft compensation would be a better deal. Why in the world did they skip the QO? Maybe I missed something.
I do believe that was story. Which doesn’t make sense either. I think the thing that you are missing is that it’s the Rockies we are talking about. I’m still not sure if they know how the whole trading thing works.
I thought it was all their pending free agents that they were holding onto. There was literally no reason to hold onto him at the deadline if they knew they would lose him to free agency. Very odd organization.
The Sabertooth Superfife
These rumors drive me crazy. ( Or at least
works as an amplifier)
Does the entire management team sit around and BS each other, patting themselves on the back, collecting paychecks, laughing on their way to the bank?
I feel like Chris ILLICH is being taken advantage of. I feel like Tiger fans are being taken advantage of.
You know, I like Al. As a friend, this is not looking like they are doing the right things.