The Tigers announced that right-handed pitcher Drew Hutchison has cleared outright waivers and elected free agency. The 31-year-old veteran signed with the team in March but was designated for assignment earlier this week to clear a space on the 40-man roster for young starter Joey Wentz.
Through 10 Detroit appearances this year Hutchison has soaked up 15 plus innings and posted a 4.60 ERA, albeit with a bloated 16.7% walk rate. After a two-year run in the Tigers system it seems the organization, owner of a dismal 9-23 record to start the Major League season, prefers to shake up the roster by infusing some younger players over rostering a frequently shuttled veteran type. The former fifteenth-rounder is just a season removed from 21 plus innings of 2.11 ERA ball though, and has put up solid results in the upper minors for most of his career.
Hutchison will now head to a largely picked-clean market of free agents in hopes of latching on with another team. That the righty cleared waivers hints that his next deal will likely be of the minor league variety; given the conservative handling of many pitchers this year, however, the odds are good that Hutchison will draw interest as a depth piece in the near future. In the event of a promotion and late career breakout, a signing team can keep Hutchison under team control via arbitration through the 2023 season.