The Detroit Tigers are still looking for another reliever even after adding closer Francisco Rodriguez and setup man Mark Lowe to their bullpen this winter. According to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports, the Tigers have "talked" about free agent Tony Sipp and Antonio Bastardo, both relief pitchers.
Sipp and Bastardo are left-handed specialist, which are exactly what Detroit needs. The duo will draw a ton of interest around the league, but do not underestimate general manager Al Avila and the Tigers. Sipp is searching for a three-year deal worth $15-18 million this offseason, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.
Over seven years in the Major League, Bastardo has gone 24-19 with a 3.58 ERA, 1.198 WHIP and 388 strikeouts across 316.1 innings pitched. The 30-year-old fashioned a 2.91 ERA over 57.1 innings last season with the Pittsburgh Pirates, which he gave up 6.1 hits per nine innings. Bastardo, a native of Dominican Republic, was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies as an amateur free agent in 2005.
In the postseason, Bastardo has been perfect with a 0.00 ERA over 2.2 relief innings pitched across six games. The lefty has thrown in the National League Wild Card, National League Division Series and National League Championship Series, but is still seeking an elusive World Series appearance. Like Bastardo, Sipp has pitched in the playoffs. The 32-year-old has given up one hit and did not allow an earned run over 5.1 innings during the American League Wild Card and American League Division Series for the Houston Astros in 2015.
Sipp was drafted out of Clemson University in the 45th round of the 2004 MLB Draft by the Cleveland Indians. The lefty quietly emerged from behind the stage, but is still noted as one of the most underrated relief pitchers in the Majors. Sipp has played for the Indians (2009-2012), Arizona Diamondbacks (2013) and most recently, the Astros (2014-2015).
Over his seven-year career, Sipp has logged a 3.50 ERA and 363.0 innings pitched across 420 appearances. The left-handed pitcher logged his best career season in 2015 with a 1.99 ERA and 1.031 WHIP over 60 games. The impressive numbers allowed Sipp to recreate the hype he possessed early in his career.
Bastardo and Sipp are the two biggest lefty specialists are the market and will receive a ton of interest, but the Tigers are dead set on picking up another reliever or two. Only time will tell between the two parties.