The Tigers are “still in the mix” for free agent starters Zack Greinke and Michael Pineda, The Detroit News’ Chris McCosky reports (Twitter link). While the Tigers also re-signed Wily Peralta on a minor league deal earlier today, the club is clearly still interested in adding further reinforcements to its rotation, and using Peralta in his old swingman role.
Eduardo Rodriguez was signed to a five-year, $77MM deal back in November, thus giving Detroit a veteran arm to augment the promising young rotation trio of Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal, and Matt Manning. Even with Peralta now in the fold as well, adding yet another full-time starter would give the Tigers more depth in the event of injury, or if any of the younger hurlers aren’t quite yet ready to deliver at the Major League level. Neither Greinke or Pineda are exactly sure things themselves, of course, but they do bring plenty of experience to a Tigers team that plans to return to contention.
Greinke’s 17.2% strikeout rate last season was his lowest since 2006, while his 17.4% home run rate was the highest of his 18-year career. The veteran righty also missed time due to both neck soreness and the COVID-related injury list during the last two months of the season, and thus the Astros only used Greinke on a sparing and limited basis during their postseason run.
This said, Greinke was still an effective pitcher overall, posting an elite 5.2% walk rate and solid hard-contact numbers en route to a 4.16 ERA over 171 innings for Houston. Even as Greinke enters his age-38 season, there is plenty of indication that he can still be a strong contributor to a big league rotation, though his days of being an All-Star caliber starter are probably over.
Pineda is only 33, but carries more durability questions than Greinke. Three separate IL stints limited Pineda to 109 1/3 innings with the Twins last season, and he also missed all of 2018 recovering from a Tommy John surgery. When Pineda did pitch last year, he performed well via the bottom-line number of a 3.62 ERA, though his Statcast metrics were much less flattering, apart from an outstanding 4.6% walk rate. Pineda had some of the worst hard-contact numbers of any pitcher in baseball, and his 19.2% strikeout rate was both well below the league average and the worst K% of Pineda’s eight big league seasons.
It would certainly seem likely that either Greinke or Pineda would be available on a one-year contract, which would fit a Detroit club that could be looking for more supplementary pieces after already spending big on E-Rod and Javier Baez. MLBTR ranked Greinke 40th on our list of the winter’s top 50 free agents and projected him for a one-year, $15MM deal. Pineda signed two-year deals with the Twins in each of his last two visits to the open market, though both of those contracts (worth $10MM and $20MM, respectively) were impacted by his Tommy John recovery and the 60-game PED suspension that cost him parts of the 2019 and 2020 season.
Now we’re talking. Greinke and Chafin were the two guys I was hoping for coming out of the lockout. Let’s see it.
Greinke signed with KC.
As a Tiger’s fan I would rather roll the dice on Johnny Cueto.
I don’t know why the Mariners aren’t looking at these two guys to top off their rotation. Better than any 5th guy on their current roster.
Who said they aren’t?
Royals need to get off their butts and sign greinke already
Really hoping the Twins resign Pineda again. He’s been solid when healthy.
No, they’re not – in fact – in the mix.
In fact, the Tigers did get Pineda.
Well, Pineda’s still out there…
Zack G has signed with KC.
Scratch him off their list.
Just make Willy Peralta your #6 Starter.
He has earned it,
Greinke is too rich for Detroit’s blood right now. Pineda I think makes more sense at this point.
Detroit has the money for Greinke according to GM. They said Greinke wanted to go back to KC where he started his career
The Saber-toothed Superfife
I understand Al. TX is a big state and you got completely lost on that fishing trip…..
I know this isn’t an analytics-based comment, but maybe Pineda’s especially valuable to the Tigers since he beat up on them pretty regularly (4-1 in 2019-2021). Or in the chess game of negotiations, perhaps he thinks he can hold out for a 2-year deal with Detroit. (Incidentally, this could have been the thinking that helped lead the Tigers to sign Joe Nathan right before the window closed on Detroit’s last shot at contention.)
Greinke to the Royals 🙁
Yeah, would have been nice but this seems more appropriate.
Matthew Boyd would have been a great signing for Detroit.
SF Giants just signed Boyd.