The Detroit Tigers have agreed to terms with RHP Mike Fiers, the team announced Friday.
First reported by ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, the two sides finalized a one-year contract worth $6 million. Fiers also entertained a two-year offer from the Baltimore Orioles, per Crasnick. Once finalized, the deal would give the club two years of control, per Chris Cotillo. Fiers would make $6 million this season and would not hit free agency after 2018 unless he is not tendered a contract. The Tigers’ 40-man roster is now full.
Who is he?: The 32-year-old righthander has posted a 4.15 career ERA over seven seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers and Houston Astros. He served as the fifth starter for the Astros in 2017, posting an 8-10 record with a 5.22 ERA and 1.43 WHIP over 153 1⁄3 innings. Fiers also surrendered 32 home runs, hit a league-high 13 batters, and registered 146 strikeouts at a rate of 8.6 strikeouts per nine innings. He did not make an appearance during the Astros’ World Series championship run and was non-tendered by the club at the beginning of the offseason.
The bottom line: There is little risk in this move for the Tigers. His high home run and strikeout rates are comparable to Anibal Sanchez, but at nearly one-third of the price. Worst case scenario is Fiers serves in an inning-eating capacity for the Tigers, potentially as a combination fifth starter/long reliever. Best case scenario is Fiers performs better than expected and serves as a trade chip to bring in pieces for the rebuilding effort.