The Tigers will be "in the mix" to sign right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma this winter, according to general manager Al Avila (via Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press). Iwakuma is currently a free agent and is expected to draw widespread interest from teams looking for a starter on a short-term deal.
Iwakuma is expected to strongly consider going back to the Mariners this winter, and Seattle is willing to offer him a two-year deal, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. The 34-year old has not been publicly linked to any other clubs to this point, but the Athletics, who pursued him when he left Japan a few years ago, may look to acquire him once again.
Iwakuma joins Mike Leake, Yovani Gallardo and other veterans in the second tier of available starting pitchers behind Zack Greinke, David Price, Johnny Cueto and Jordan Zimmermann, and is likely to command a two- or three-year deal due to his advanced age.
Detroit is likely to be very active this offseason, and is likely to add a starter to a group that currently includes Justin Verlander, Anibal Sanchez, Matt Boyd, Kyle Lobstein and Daniel Norris. The Tigers are likely to add veterans to both their rotation mix and relief corps, and may dip into the market for a high-priced starter like Price or Zimmermann.