Behind his stated goals for finding a shortstop as well as an early pitcher, the Tigers had a third priority in mind before the spring camp of 2019: a swing man pitcher who could start or relieve.
They found a possible response on Tuesday when they agreed to one-year-old pitcher Matt Moore, who will not be finalized until a physical examination is formalized.
The agreement was confirmed by a Tigers front-office source who requested anonymity until the completion of the physical examination. Several reports by national writers Mark Feinsand and Jeff Passan put the deal at $ 2.5 million, to $ 3 million with incentives.
Moore, 29, had great seasons with the Rays of 2012-13 but did not do so well in the following years with Tampa Bay, Giants and Rangers. Last season for Texas, he participated in 39 games, including 12 matches, and had a ERA 6.79 and 1.66 WHIP. The numbers were clearly better on the road than in Texas.
But because of his age, his flexibility, and the likely reports of scout scouts and analysts, Detroit should become Moore's next major league.
Moore's fastball stayed in the 93 mph range in 2018, while he also plays a curved ball (or curve of fingers) and shift. He is considered more like a ball thrower, a trait that can be helped by the square yard of Comerica Park.
More: Tigers' Payroll Continues Out of Sync
But the Tigers will rely on Moore to pitch better than him to the Rangers in 2018. In those 39 games spanning 102 innings, Moore was hit by 128 hits – and 19 home runs. He hit 86 batters and walked 41.
He had surgery for Tommy John in 2014, which followed his brilliant seasons of 2012 and 2013, when he had ERAs of 3.89 and 3.21 in 58 starts.
He played in only 12 games in 2015, then traded with the Giants in the summer of 2016. He did 12 regular seasons for San Francisco, had an ERA 4.08 and played brilliantly during a drive against the Cubs, allowing two more hits eight innings while eliminating 10. But he had a bad 2017 for the Giants with an ERA of 5.52, and last December was traded for the Rangers along with money from the international slots in exchange for a pair of smaller leagues .
More: Tigers still free-agent shopping as offseason market hits a lull
The Tigers are betting on their relative youth and the existing repertoire to help correct their 2019 pitching team. Moore was an eighth round pick in the 2007 lightning out of Moriarty (New Mexico) High.
The Tigers remain on the market for a real match, which can be any of a long list of free agents: Edwin Jackson, Tyson Ross, Jeremy Hellickson, Derek Holland, Trevor Cahill, Marco Estrada or Brett Anderson.
The Tigers also remain on safari for a break, with Freddy Galvis, Adeiny Hechavarria and Jordy Mercer being the main targets.