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Free Agency Notes: McHugh, Tigers, Sugano, Red Sox

Free agent right-hander Collin McHugh will throw in front of interested teams on January 16, reports Jake Kaplan of the Athletic (Twitter link). The 33-year-old opted out of the 2020 season after failing to recuperate as hoped from a December 2019 elbow surgery. However, McHugh is again drawing interest from teams after recovering from that procedure, Kaplan notes. The former Astro had plenty of success from 2015-18, working in both a starting and relief role.

Some more notes on the open market:

  • The Tigers are hoping to sign another free agent pitcher, general manager Al Avila told reporters (including Evan Woodbery of MLive). Detroit already added former Marlins right-hander José Ureña on a one-year deal this offseason. Ureña joins fellow rebound hopefuls Matt Boyd and Michael Fulmer in a rotation mix that also includes Spencer Turnbull and a handful of very highly-regarded pitching prospects. That wouldn’t make the rotation a seeming area of need for the Tigers on paper. However, with a projected significant increase between 2020 and 2021 in the number of innings teams will need, the Tigers are looking to stockpile pitching depth. Avila noted the organization is considering adopting a six-man rotation at points next season to help shoulder heightened workloads.
  • Star NPB pitcher Tomoyuki Sugano made the decision to return to the Yomiuri Giants yesterday, agreeing on a four-year, $40MM contract (with three opt-outs). Obviously, no major league team put forth an offer big enough to woo Sugano to MLB. At least a pair of clubs did put a formal proposal on the table, though. The Padres and Blue Jays each offered Sugano a contract before the right-hander made the decision to stay in his home country, reports Jon Heyman of MLB Network (Twitter link).
  • While the Red Sox were among the teams that liked Sugano, they are “uninterested” in offering any pitcher a four-year deal this winter, writes Alex Speier of the Boston Globe. They are, however, willing to offer two-year or three-year terms to certain hurlers. As Speier writes, that dovetails nicely with the team’s ongoing Jake Odorizzi pursuit. Arguably the second-best free agent starter remaining on the market, Odorizzi is expected to land a three-year deal in the $36MM — $42MM range.
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