Remember that Mike Fiers deal from last season, where the Detroit Tigers signed a somewhat flagging pitcher to a short-term deal hoping he would rejuvenate his career and become trade fodder at the break? Looks like the Tigers are hoping to strike gold yet again. This time, their target is left-handed pitcher Matt Moore, who was most recently with the Texas Rangers.
Moore has agreed to terms with the Tigers on a one-year deal, first reported by Mark Feinsand, worth between $2-3 million, per Jeff Passan.
Left-hander Matt Moore and the Detroit Tigers are in agreement on a one-year deal that guarantees him between $2 million and $3 million, pending a physical, sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 27, 2018
The 29-year-old pitcher was used in a mix of starting and relief appearances this past season (think Blaine Hardy), though he has typically been a starter by trade. His 2018 numbers weren’t great, though. He posted a 6.79 ERA, 5.25 FIP, and 1.66 WHIP in 102 innings down in Texas. But his career numbers aren’t as grim. In nearly 900 innings, Moore has a 4.56 ERA, 4.35 FIP, and 1.41 WHIP, albeit with pedestrian strikeout-to-walk numbers. Moore was worth 0.0 WAR last season. Steamer projects him to have the same value this coming year (although their current projections have him throwing just one inning).
Moore is a former All-Star, who was at his best during his five and a half seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, where he was a 2013 All-Star. He managed a 3.88 ERA and 1.34 WHIP in 540 innings with the Rays across six seasons. His best campaign was the aforementioned 2013 season, when he was worth 2.6 rWAR in 150 1⁄3 innings. FanGraphs’ version of WAR says he was better in 2012, when he was worth 2.7 fWAR in 177 1⁄3 frames.
Moore relies primarily on a low-90s fastball, though he also uses a low-80s curveball and a slightly elevated changeup. He has been known to use a high-80s cutter, which he developed during his tenure with the Rays, but it is a rare sight. CBS Sports’ R.J. Anderson identified Moore as a potential bounce-back candidate earlier this offseason, but noted that Moore’s fastball has lost a fair bit of movement in recent years.
The Tigers are obviously hoping for a bounce-back season from Moore, but at the very least he provides some nice lefty depth to the rotation. He could also serve in a similar role to what he managed with the Rangers last year, bouncing from the rotation to the bullpen as needed.