When the Tigers sent starting pitcher Rick Porcello to Boston, they temporarily blew a hole in their pitching rotation. That void was filled when they acquired starting pitcher Alfredo Simon from the Cincinnati Reds. The Tigers sent Eugenio Suarez and top pitching prospect, Jonathon Crawford to Cincinnati.
Simon is a big right handed pitcher from the Dominican Republic who made his major league debut with the Baltimore Orioles in 2008. He had worked mainly in relief, including a stint as the closer for Baltimore, before being dealt to the Reds. In 2014, he was moved to the starting rotation, where he made 32 starts with an ERA of 3.44, an FIP of 4.33, a WHIP of 1.20, and 0.9 fWAR.
Simon made the National League's all star team in 2014, going 12- 3 with an ERA of 2.70 in the first half of the season. After the all star break, he came back to earth, going 3- 7 with an ERA of 4.52. For the season, he finished with ratios of 5.8 K/9, 2.6 BB/9, and 1.0 HR/9. The home run rate is a cause for concern.
Simon was first signed by the Philadelphia Phillies as an amateur free agent. He bounced around the minor leagues, spending time with the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers organizations before being signed by the Orioles. He is in his final year of arbitration eligibility and is projected to earn $ 5.1 million for the 2015 season, which is a big raise over his 2014 salary of $ 1.5 million, due to his move to the starting rotation.
Suarez made his debut with the Tigers and settled in as their starting shortstop for much of the season in 2014. He was expected to lose that job with the return of Jose Iglesias next season. Crawford was the Tigers' top pitching prospect.