It’s fair to say that the Tigers’ 2022 season didn’t go as planned. One year after the Tigers posted the team’s best winning percentage since 2016, Detroit won just 66 games and finished fourth in the AL Central. With new management now running in the show, Detroit will look to pick up the pieces after yet another disappointing campaign. With that said, here’s a look at how the Tigers re-aligned this winter.
A year after the Tigers made a big swing in free agency with Javier Baez, the new leadership in Detroit had a more reserved offseason for 2022-23. The two most notables additions to the Tigers were starters Matthew Boyd and Michael Lorenzen. Boyd returns to Detroit, where he spent parts of seven seasons with the Tigers. Health has eluded the lefty, when Boyd’s been known to boast very effective stuff when healthy. Lorenzen, meanwhile, joins Detroit after spending 2022 with the Angels.
Detroit also acquired two toolsy players in Nick Maton and Matt Vierling in a deal with the Phillies. Neither Maton or Vierling had paths to starting time in Philadelphia, but could earn regular roles in Motown.
- C Tucker Barnhart
- 3B Jeimer Candelario
- LHP Andrew Chafin
- INF Harold Castro
- INF Willi Castro
- INF Kody Clemens
- RHP Kyle Funkhouser
- RHP Joe Jiménez
- LHP Gregory Soto
The Tigers did have one of the league’s better bullpens in the league last year, but several names from last season will not return. Andrew Chafin and Kyle Funkhouser both exited via free agency, while Joe Jiménez was dealt to Atlanta for infield prospect Justyn-Henry Malloy and LHP Jake Higginbotham. Two-time All-Star Gregory Soto and Kody Clemens were sent to Philly in the deal that netted the Tigers Maton and Vierling.
It seemed like whatever could go wrong in Detroit last season did go wrong. The Tigers pitch staff was besieged by injuries, while the offense sputtered. The Tigers finished with second to last in OBP (.286), SLG (.346), and wOBA (.279), thanks to an unusually poor season from Javier Baez and rough opening campaigns for rookies Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene.
After a tough 2022 season overall, the Tigers look farther away from competing for a playoff sport than initially thought just two years ago. Detroit still possesses a promising core group of youngsters, but one can’t deny growing pains took place last season. Considering that the Tigers didn’t add that much punch this winter, that young core will shoulder a lot of weight in 2023.