The Detroit Tigers are signaling their intentions to compete in 2023, or at least try.
After a disappointing season in which they lost 96 games, they are determined to move closer to contention in 2023.
To do that, they need impact players.
They just signed a pitcher who has the potential to do just that: left-hander Matthew Boyd.
The terms of the deal (one-year, $10 million) indicate that the Tigers want to be players next season.
Boyd missed most of this past campaign rehabbing from left flexor tendon surgery in his elbow.
He was able to return in September with a Seattle Mariners uniform after a long road back.
Also — good for Matt Boyd! Loooong road to recovery for him.
— Ryan Bloomfield (@RyanBHQ) December 1, 2022
He did it as a reliever: in 10 games and 13.1 innings, he posted a 1.35 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP with 13 strikeouts.
The Tigers Have Faith In Boyd
He even worked on his stuff and could be a weapon for the Tigers in 2023.
Matt Boyd quietly made some changes to his his changeup late last year (above-average Stuff+), just didn't throw that many in a relief role. Candidate for the Jakob Junis 50/50 slider approach too.
— Eno Sarris (@enosarris) December 1, 2022
Even though his career ERA is 4.90, his peripherals have always indicated that number should be lower.
Fans in Detroit love and respect him.
Really glad that Matt Boyd is back in the fold. Got to work with him at some non profit events and Matt is honestly one of the nicest guys. Takes time to talk with the people and has a lot of fun doing it too. https://t.co/XPzrY5Uuy6
— Justin (@TheYzerPlan) December 1, 2022
To gain back the trust of fans, the Tigers need not only talented players, but also people who can take the time to chat, sign an autograph, and connect with supporters.
Boyd has shown he can do that, and carries significant upside as a pitcher.
There are lots of people discussing the hefty $10 million salary.
Matt Boyd just signed for how much?!?!?
— Mark Thompson (@mathomp_501) December 1, 2022
The early signings seem to indicate this will be a good year for the finances of free agents. $10MM for Matt Boyd…
— Brad Johnson (@BaseballATeam) December 1, 2022
However, if he stays healthy and the changes he made in his stuff stick, he has a chance to outperform that salary and silence the doubters.
He will need to stay healthy, first and foremost.
He has always had the talent, but injuries and homer issues have held him back in the past.
Will he take the next step this season?