The Tigers announced they have claimed left-hander Zach Logue off waivers from the A’s. Oakland had designated Logue for assignment earlier in the week. In a corresponding move, right-hander Angel De Jesus was designated for assignment. Jon Heyman of The New York Post reported the claim of Logue prior to the official announcement.
Logue, 27 in April, was a ninth round pick of the Blue Jays in 2017 who got added to their 40-man roster after a solid 2021 season. Logue split that year between Double-A and Triple-A, making 24 starts and one relief appearance with a 3.67 ERA, 28.2% strikeout rate and 5.3% walk rate. The A’s were intrigued enough to acquire him, with Logue being one of the four players that came over in the Matt Chapman trade.
Unfortunately, 2022 didn’t go as smooth for Logue. He was able to make his MLB debut, but he posted a 6.79 ERA over 14 appearances for the A’s. He limited walks to a 7.8% clip but only struck out 16.3% of batters faced. Things didn’t go much better in the minors, as he posted an ERA of 8.12 for the Triple-A Las Vegas Aviators. That club plays in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League but park factors alone can’t completely wave away those results. He also had subpar rate stats, striking out just 15.3% of batters faced there while walking 9.9% of them.
For the Tigers, it makes plenty of sense to put in a claim, even though Logue is coming off a down year. For one thing, Logue still has two option years remaining, allowing him to stay in the minors as depth until he’s needed. Secondly, there’s much rotation uncertainty in Detroit. Casey Mize underwent Tommy John surgery in June and will likely miss much of the upcoming season. Tarik Skubal underwent flexor tendon surgery in August and is a question mark for 2023. The club added Matthew Boyd and Michael Lorenzen to bolster their rotation, but they are both on one-year deals and could be deadline trade fodder if the Tigers aren’t in contention.
Boyd and Lorenzen should slot into a front five with Eduardo Rodriguez, Matt Manning and Spencer Turnbull. However, Manning also dealt with injuries in 2022 and only made 12 starts. Turnbull missed the entire season due to Tommy John surgery and will be an unknown quantity for 2023. If injuries and/or trades put a dent in the club’s rotation throughout the season, they will have depth options such as Joey Wentz, Beau Brieske and Alex Faedo, but Logue will now jump into that mix.
De Jesus, 26 in February, was added to the club’s 40-man roster in November of 2021 and spent 2022 as a frequently-optioned depth arm. He posted a 2.13 ERA over eight big league appearances but spent most of the season in Triple-A. In 47 2/3 innings down on the farm, he registered a 4.15 ERA with a 22.1% strikeout rate, 10.1% walk rate and 38.5% ground ball rate. The Tigers will now have a week to trade him or pass him through waivers. He still has a pair of option years and could garner interest from clubs looking for extra bullpen depth.