Drew Hutchison chooses free agency
The Tigers have announced that the right-hander Drew Hutchison authorized renunciations and elected free will. He had been slated for a posting on Tuesday when the club called for a serviceman Jermaine Palacios excluding derogations for Twins.
Hutchison, 32, signed a minor league contract with the Tigers last year and ended up cracking the big league team to pitch 21 1/3 innings in the streak. He was squarely at the end of the season but impressed the club enough to be brought back for another season as an emergency depth option.
In 2022, they had to rely on Hutchison far more than they would have liked as the rotation was decimated by injuries. Just about every screamer the Tigers have thrown to start a game has been injured or underperformed. In the end, Hutchison made 18 starts, a number that placed him second on the team, with only Tarik Skubal21 starts ahead of him.
As far as emergency starters go, Hutchison has done pretty well, posting a 4.53 ERA in 105 1/3 innings. His peripherals weren’t quite as strong though, as his 14.7% strikeout rate, 9.1% walk rate, and 40.3% rushed ball rate were all below average. of the league. Advanced metrics like FIP, xFIP and SIERA have it closer to 5.00, based on those underlying numbers.
Detroit’s rotation still has many question marks around it, with Casey Mize is expected to miss most of next year recovering from Tommy John’s surgery. Skubal and Matt Manning are also facing arm problems and have uncertain deadlines before winter. Although he’s been bouncing around the league for years, Hutchison has yet to reach six years of MLB service, meaning the club could have retained him for the next year through arbitration. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz predicted Hutchison would earn $1.8 million in the arb process, but the club chose not to go that route.
Hutchison will now be able to start looking for his next gig early. He’s been elected a handful of free agents this year and has always ended up with the Tigers on a new minor league contract. It’s possible he’ll follow that pattern again, although the Tigers are now under new management. General manager Al Avila was fired and Scott Harris was hired as president of baseball operations. With regime change and uncertainty surrounding their young starters, it will likely take time for them to work out their plan of attack for 2023.