Detroit Tigers sign Andrew Chafin

Detroit Tigers sign Andrew Chafin

After a disappointing campaign, last year that saw them finish with a 77-85 record, the Detroit Tigers proved they have ambitions to do more in 2022 by announcing the signing of left-handed reliever Andrew Chafin on Wednesday morning. The 31-year-old inked a two-year deal with the Tigers worth $13 million. He also has an opt-out option after the first season.

“Obviously, as we’ve said, we’re looking for things that can help us get better,” Tigers manager AJ Hinch said Wednesday afternoon, via The Detroit Free Press. “I can’t confirm anything, other than we’re actively looking to upgrade our team and put our team in the best chance to win. These things tend to leak out before things are finalized. We hope to make the team better.”

Chafin was selected with the 43rd overall pick in the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks. The veteran spent seven seasons in Arizona with the Diamondbacks before being traded to the Chicago Cubs on August 31st, 2020. He was then traded in 2021 to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for Greg Deichmann and Daniel Palencia.

“Definitely really excited to add him to our bullpen,” Tigers right-handed starter Casey Mize said Wednesday, via the Detroit Free Press. “Our bullpen, the back end of it, is really good. To add him to that makes us feel better about it. Pumped to have him. I was excited when I saw the news.”

Mize wasn’t the only pitcher excited with the addition of Chafin either.

“He’s going to help us out a lot, especially being from the left side,” Tigers right-handed reliever Michael Fulmer said Wednesday. “This bullpen is getting better and better. It’s awesome.”

The acquisition of Chafin automatically makes the Tigers a deeper team and one that is more prepared to compete for a playoff spot. They haven’t qualified for the postseason since 2014 and would love nothing more than to get back.

“With Chafin being the guy he is and absolutely dominant from the left side and against lefties,” Fulmer said, “it’s going to be good to have Soto lock down that ninth inning. That’s where he belongs. He’s got great stuff. And I’m excited to meet Andrew. Hopefully, he helps us out a lot.”

The bullpen was one of the biggest issues that needed to be addressed by the Tigers in the offseason, considering they ranked 22nd in MLB last year with a 4.50 ERA.

“I feel good about the path to winning,” Hinch said. “I always talk about that with our players. We have a path to win. That starts with the starting pitcher getting us to a part of the game where we can start counting outs. We can do that in a variety of ways.”

“I don’t love defined roles as much as I like the pathway to winning.”

It’ll be interesting to see how the deal works out for both the player and the club, but Tigers’ fans have to happy with the relatively risk-free signing.