Are you upset that the Tigers didn't find another bullpen arm this week? Are you worried that the bullpen will be the team's downfall in the postseason? Does the sight of Joe Nathan, Phil Coke, or anyone not named Joba Chamberlain give you nausea? Don't fret, Tigers fans, because bullpen help is easy to find.
Specifically, after the trade deadline. Just over 24 hours after yesterday's 4:00 p.m. deadline, there were several names on the market after other contenders shuffled rosters to get their new acquisitions in place.
(Full disclosure: this post was written on Friday afternoon, so one or more of these guys may already be off the market by the time you read this.)
Jim Johnson, RHP
Johnson was released by the Oakland Athletics on Friday, ending what has been a tumultuous season in the Bay Area. He has a dreadful 7.14 ERA and 2.06 WHIP in 40 1/3 innings, and his 5.29 FIP isn't much better. Johnson started the year as the team's closer after posting back-to-back 50 save seasons for the Baltimore Orioles in 2012 and 2013. While Johnson's stuff is far from electric -- he relies on a two-seamer in the low-to-mid 90s and only strikes out six batters per nine innings -- he has been a ground ball machine throughout his career.
The main issue for Johnson is that his once-excellent command has been nonexistent in 2014. He is walking over five batters per nine innings this year and has only stranded 67.1 percent of baserunners. The ground balls are still there, but Johnson's 22.3 percent line drive rate and .390 BABIP are both much higher than in the past few years. Johnson would be a reclamation project, but three consecutive seasons of a sub-3.00 ERA shows that he has the ability to get big league batters out if he gets right.
Ryan Webb, RHP
The Baltimore Orioles designated Webb off the 25 man roster on Friday despite posting some solid numbers in his first season in the American League. He put up decent numbers for the San Diego Padres and Miami Marlins from 2009 to 2013, including a 3.29 ERA and 3.45 FIP in 276 innings pitched. He isn't much of a strikeout artist, but his 7.17 punchouts per nine innings this season is a career best. Webb has also displayed great command this year, walking just 5.7 percent of all batters faced. Like Johnson, Webb is a ground ball specialist, generating a whopping 67.8 percent ground ball rate in 2014.
Evan Scribner, RHP
Scribner was another casualty of the Athletics' shopping spree on Thursday, getting designated off the 25 man roster the next day. The 28 year old right-hander has only logged 5 1/3 innings with the big league club this season, but has put together a solid season for Triple-A Sacramento in the Pacific Coast League. In 31 minor league appearances, Scribner has a 3.35 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. More importantly, Scribner has totaled 57 strikeouts to just seven walks in 37 2/3 innings, resulting in a 1.96 FIP. With a fastball in the low 90s, Scribner also fits the ground ball specialist mold, but his consistent low walk totals may actually make him the most attractive option in this bunch to many.
Note: both Webb and Scribner are on revocable waivers at the moment, meaning that their respective teams can pull them back if a team claims them during the waiver period. However, if they clear waivers, their club would be able to trade them at any point in the next month.
Zach McAllister, RHP
Don't laugh. McAllister has struggled in his four big league seasons with the Cleveland Indians, posting a 4.47 ERA and 4.08 FIP in 64 starts. This season, his ERA has climbed to 5.91 in 67 innings, while his FIP stayed right around his career norms. He doesn't strike out a lot of guys -- 7.29 per nine innings in his career -- but might benefit from a move to the bullpen if the Tigers were so inclined.
And hey, his numbers might improve solely from not having to face the Tigers' offense anymore. In nine starts, McAllister has allowed 22 earned runs in 43 innings.
Bullpen arms weren't the only things falling out of the trees after yesterday's roster shakedown. A pair of intriguing outfielders also became available.
Jordan Schafer, LH OF
The Tigers need a center fielder. Jordan Schafer can play center field. While the math makes sense, the numbers may not add up. Schafer has a career .307 on-base percentage and a .611 OPS, and is underperforming those numbers by a wide margin in 2014. However, he was able to get on base at a .331 clip in 2013, and has 88 stolen bases in just under 400 career games played. Advanced metrics are not a fan of his defense -- Rajai Davis ranks out better by a considerable margin -- but he has fared well enough to survive over 2000 career innings in center.
Mike Carp, LH 1B/OF
Carp was an integral piece of Boston's 2013 World Series run, hitting .296/.362/.523 in 243 plate appearances. He absolutely torched right-handed pitching, hitting .300/.367/.537 with eight homers in just 215 plate appearances. Unfortunately, things haven't gone so well this year. Carp is hitting just .198/.320/.279 this year with a .665 OPS against righties. Getting Carp's bat back on track would be his ticket to a big league roster, but as last year's numbers show, he can be a difference maker. He can play first base or in the outfield, though would likely be restricted to the latter if he came to Detroit.