The Detroit Tigers added further depth to their bullpen on Tuesday, signing free agent southpaw Tom Gorzelanny to a one-year deal, the club announced. As MLB.com's Jason Beck adds, the 32-year-old Gorzelanny is expected to earn approximately $1 million. To make room for Gorzelanny, the Tigers designated right-hander Luke Putkonen for assignment.
Gorzelanny saw his 2014 season limited to just 23 games due to shoulder surgery prior to the season. However, he still managed to post an excellent 0.86 ERA to go along with a 2.99 FIP, 9.9 K/9, and 3.4 BB/9 in 21.0 innings. He has been rather impressive over the past three years with the Nationals and Brewers, posting a cumulative 3.13 ERA, 125 ERA+, 3.84 FIP, and 2.43 K/9. A former starter, Gorzelanny is also capable of serving as a spot starter if needed, though outside of a strong 2007 campaign and a decent 2010 one, he hasn't proven to be a preferable option.
Gorzelanny fits in nicely in the Tigers' bullpen, giving the club a second left-hander to pair with Blaine Hardy. He figures to serve in a seventh-inning role, while also giving Detroit another fill-in starting option to cushion their rather thin crop of starting pitchers.
The 28-year-old Putkonen was selected by Detroit in the third round of the 2007 draft, and reached the majors in 2012, subsequently earning big league time in each of the past three seasons. In 48.1 career major league innings, he owns a 4.66 ERA and 4.31 FIP. He was limited to just 9.1 innings pitched last season (both minors and majors) due to a bone spur in his right elbow that led to surgery. He is a likely candidate to be picked up due to middle relief potential and some minor success at the major league level, as evidenced by a 3.03 ERA in 29.2 innings with the Tigers in 2013.