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Tigers sign Matt Moore to one-year deal, per report

The Tigers will see if they can resurrect the career of a starter who has been one of MLB’s worst over the past couple years.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers Photo by Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Tigers are in agreement with left-handed pitcher Matt Moore on a one-year deal that will guarantee him between $2.5-3 million plus incentives, as MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand and Yahoo’s Jeff Passan reported on Tuesday:

Moore, who had his $10 million option for 2019 declined by the Rangers earlier this month, has undisputably been one of baseball’s worst starting pitchers over the past two seasons, and he wasn’t particularly good in the two seasons before that, either. While splitting time between the rotation and bullpen for Texas in 2018, the 29-year-old’s 6.79 ERA ranked worst among major-league pitchers who threw at least 100 innings, and with the same qualifications, his 5.52 ERA for the Giants ranked 10th-worst in baseball and third-worst in the National League in 2017. He’s had a WHIP above 1.50 in three of his last five seasons, and though his command isn’t terrible, he just can’t seem to stop giving up hard contact.

Moore is a decently hard-throwing lefty who used to be a top prospect, though, so he continues to get chances. It’s surprising to see him receive a guaranteed major-league deal, but the Tigers must think they can fix the pitcher who was once a front-of-the-rotation force for the Rays and reached the All-Star Game in 2013. With the success they had in rehabilitating Francisco Liriano and Mike Fiers in 2018, it’s difficult to fault them for gambling a couple million dollars as they attempt to do the same with Moore. For what it’s worth, you could argue that Moore was somewhat unlucky in 2018, as the .341 BABIP he surrendered was third-highest among pitchers who threw 100 innings, and his 1.68 home runs allowed per nine innings were 10th-worst, though it’s possible — especially considering his company at the top of those unfortunate leaderboards — that those numbers are just indications that he’s really bad.