Tigers reliever Andrew Chafin will decline his $6.5MM participant possibility for 2023, stories Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free-Press. He’ll hit the open market 5 days after the World Sequence concludes in quest of a brand new multi-year pact.
It’ll be the third consecutive offseason through which the southpaw is offered in free company. After a prolonged stint with the Diamondbacks to start his profession, Chafin was dealt to the Cubs on the 2020 deadline earlier than hitting the open marketplace for the primary time. He re-signed with Chicago on a one-year deal the next offseason, then hit the market final winter. That got here on the heels of a glowing 2.83 ERA exhibiting via 68 2/3 frames with the Cubs and A’s which positioned him alongside Aaron Loup and Brooks Raley as the highest lefty relievers accessible. Chafin wound up inking a two-year, $13MM assure with the Tigers that allowed him to decide out after his first season.
In a Detroit offseason largely outlined by misfires, the Chafin deal marked a stellar pickup. It was by no means doubtless he’d handle to copy a sub-2.00 ERA, however this yr’s 2.83 mark throughout 57 1/3 innings was once more wonderful. He posted unanimously robust peripherals as properly, placing out 27.6% of batters confronted and racking up grounders on a bit greater than half the batted balls he allowed. For a second straight season, he walked beneath 8% of opponents, a decrease than common mark and a welcome growth after some management inconsistency earlier in his profession.
Chafin wasn’t fairly as dominant in opposition to southpaws this previous season as he’d been in 2021. After holding lefties to a .170/.250/.223 slash final yr, he allowed a .233/.320/.344 mark to them in Detroit. That’s nonetheless fairly robust total, and in contrast to many lefty relievers, Chafin hasn’t been vulnerable to drastic platoon splits. Opposing righties mustered only a .214/.268/.317 line in opposition to him, and he fanned nearly 27% of right-handed batters for a second straight season.
With that type of efficiency, it’s no shock the Meister Sports activities Administration consumer believes he’ll prime the remaining $6.5MM on his contract. Nonetheless, there was some intrigue about his determination, largely attributable to Detroit’s relative proximity to his Ohio residence. That reportedly performed a task in his determination to signal with the Tigers, and it was seemingly an element within the group’s decision-making at this previous commerce deadline. With Detroit lengthy since out of competition by the tip of July, Chafin was an affordable commerce candidate. Nonetheless, the Tigers didn’t discover a proposal to their liking, and Petzold has reported the entrance workplace didn’t really feel pressured to take simply any return out of a perception Chafin might set off his participant possibility to remain in Detroit.
That clearly received’t be the case, and whereas it stands to purpose he’d welcome a return to the Tigers on a brand new free agent deal, it seems much less doubtless the group would wish to prime the marketplace for his providers. Former GM Al Avila was dismissed midseason and changed by president of baseball operations Scott Harris, who’s now tasked with overseeing a roster that has a variety of damage questions within the beginning rotation and gamers coming off down years throughout the diamond. Harris and his workers ought to have a good bit of monetary respiration room this winter, but it surely’s unlikely they’ll prioritize including to the bullpen.
Chafin will probably be one of many prime left-handed relievers available on the market. He’s headed into his age-33 season, which might forestall him from discovering a three-year deal, however he ought to at the very least discover robust two-year affords from groups. It’s a typically weak left-handed bullpen class, with Taylor Rogers and Matt Strahm among the many different prime choices accessible.