And with that the major moves in free agency for the Detroit Tigers are now completed. It was announced yesterday, December 12, 2013, that the Tigers have signed Joba Chamberlain to a one year deal believed to be worth around 2.5 million dollars. It is the final big move of those off season for the club and it is a move to help strengthen the Tigers bullpen which needed a talent upgrade.
However, for Tigers fans who are use to the free wheeling and dealing and spending Tigers of recent memory this off season has been one of transition. A quick look at what the Tigers added and what they lost in the bullpen:
- Added- Joe Nathan Closer, Ian Krol, and Chamberlain
- Lost- Drew Smyly LHP to the starting rotation, Octavio Dotel, and Joaquin Benoit who is going to get closer’s money from someone else
It is a big change, but the tigers are hoping these moves have left their 'pen significantly upgraded. Nathan is the active leader in saves and without a doubt the Tigers shelled out big money for him to be the ninth inning guy. They resigned Phil Coke to a non guaranteed deal. Coke will need to impress the new coaching staff to make the roster for 2014.
In recent years the Tigers have carried 7 relievers. Nathan is the closer. Kroll, Chamberlain, Bruce Rondon, and Al Albuquerque are all in a competition for the set up and the 7th inning roles. Since the Tigers are moving Drew Smyly to the starting rotation it seems reasonable to assume Jose Alvarez makes the squad as the long reliever. This leaves Luke Putkonen, Coke, or an as yet unsigned (minor) free agent in line for the last spot.