The Detroit Tigers have just come to a deal with recently non waivered RHP Jose Urena for a one year 3.25 million dollar deal for the 2021 season. Urena has shown flashes of being a solid contributor, such as the span from 2017-2018, when he looked like a building block for the rebuilding Miami Marlins, posting a 3.90 ERA in 336.2 innings. Since then though, Urena has struggled in the past two seasons, posting a 5.31 ERA between 2019 and 2020, with an ERA+ of 83. On top of being in the bottom 13th percentile in average Exit Velocity, at 90.6 in 2020 and 90.7 in 2019, Urena also has seen his strikeout rate drop, when in 2018 it got to the highest in his career (still a lowly 18.3 percent). Along with that, his BB% in 2020 was nearly as high as his K%, sitting at 12.5 percent. Even when Urena was seemingly turning into an above average pitcher in 2017-2018, hitters still pounded his sinker, hitting .305 off of it for his career, and it is the pitch he has also thrown the most in four of his six seasons on the Marlins, and most for the last three seasons in a row. Urena needs to begin to throw his changeup at a higher rate, which is the pitch that hitters have had the hardest time squaring up in his career, but he has thrown only 15.6 percent of the time.
Urena has a chance to start in the Tigers pitching rotation, depending on if the team saw that Tarik Skubal or Casey Mize needed more time in the minors, if not, Urena will have to try to leap frog either Michael Fulmer, Spencer Turnbull or Matt Boyd for a spot in the rotation.