The Tigers signed veteran righty Nick Vincent to a minor league deal late last week and assigned him to Triple-A Toledo. The move flew a bit under our radar, as the organization never formally announced it, but Vincent has already made a pair of scoreless appearances in his new environs.
Vincent, who turned 36 just two days ago, is a veteran of ten Major League seasons. The PSI Sports Management client opened the 2022 season with the Braves’ Triple-A affiliate, pitching to a lackluster 5.12 ERA but turning in a brilliant 27-to-4 K/BB ratio over his 19 1/3 innings there. Atlanta released him last month.
Perhaps due to the fact that he’s a soft-tossing righty who’s never averaged even 91 mph on his heater, Vincent has been a rather unheralded reliever throughout his career — at least relative to his overall success. The right-hander has been rocksteady throughout his big league tenure, posting a career 3.30 ERA, 24.1% strikeout rate and 6.2% walk rate through 411 2/3 frames dating back to his 2012 debut with the Padres. Vincent has posted a sub-4.00 ERA in eight of his ten seasons in the Majors, and the only two exceptions were consecutive 4.43 ERA campaigns in 2019-20. He’s never been a full-time closer, but Vincent does have seven big league saves in addition to 97 career holds.
The Tigers have disappointed in general this season but have one of the most effective bullpens in Major League Baseball. However, with the trade deadline under three weeks away and several relievers coming up on free agency either at this season’s end or after the 2023 campaign, that group figures to generate plenty of trade interest over the next 19 days. Detroit could use any newly created vacancies to take a look at some additional young arms, but Vincent will give them a veteran option to help stabilize things if there is indeed something of a bullpen exodus in advance of this season’s Aug. 2 trade deadline.