The Detroit Tigers have signed reliever Mark Lowe to a two-year contract, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The deal is worth $13 million, as reported by Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The contract allows the Tigers to add to their problematic bullpen, which hopes to improve during the 2016 season.
Earlier this winter, the Tigers added Francisco Rodriguez to toss the ball as the closer. Lowe will pitch in the eighth inning to setup Rodriguez in the ninth. The deal for Lowe was reported close by Jerry Crasnick of ESPN on Sunday night. The pickup will benefit Detroit because they have badly needed back end bullpen help over the past few seasons.
The 32-year-old was dominant with a 1.96 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and a 61-to-12 strikeout-to-walk ratio across 55.0 innings in 2015 with the Seattle Mariners and the Toronto Blue Jays. The pitcher finished with a 1-3 record between both squads.
Lowe was drafted in the fifth round of the 2004 MLB Draft by the Mariners and spent his first five seasons in Seattle before getting moved to the Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Angels and Cleveland Indians during the span of 2010-2014. The righty returned to the Mariners in 2015, but then was moved to the Blue Jays in a Trade Deadline deal.
Over his 10-year career, Lowe has accumulated a 3.80 ERA, 1.400 WHIP, 3.98 FIP and has struck out 303 batters over 336.1 innings pitched, all out of the bullpen. Prior to 2015, Lowe's best season came in 2006, his rookie year, which managed a 1.93 ERA over 18.2 innings.
The 6-foot-3, 210 pound reliever owns an outstanding fastball-to-slider combination, which is very hard to hit. The combo of those pitches produces ground balls, which make the situation much more comfortable for coaches, players and fans.
Lowe is expected to complete a physical on Monday or Tuesday. If the right-hander passes, the deal will become official.