Tigers

The Detroit News - - Front Page - Cm­c­cosky@de­troit­news.com twit­ter.com/cm­c­cosky

of the Astros, and Chris Till­man, ex-Ori­ole.

Fiers, 32, was left off all three post-sea­son ros­ters by the Astros last fall and was non-ten­dered by the club last week.

He has av­er­aged 167 in­nings over the last three sea­sons, with an en­larged 4.43 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. He was 11-8 with a 4.48 ERA in 2016 be­fore fall­ing out of the ro­ta­tion last sea­son (8-10, 5.22).

Fiers yielded a ca­reer-most 32 home runs last sea­son, but he also may have en­dured some bad luck. Ac­cord­ing to FanGraphs, his hard-hit rate was down 5 per­cent last sea­son, from 35 to 30. Also, op­po­nents’ bat­ting av­er­ages were down on both his fast­ball (.247 from .332 on his fast­ball) and change-up (.244 from .281). Op­po­nents his .211 on his curve ball, up from .192 in 2016.

Till­man will turn 30 in April and av­er­aged 190 in­nings be­tween 2013 and 2016. He posted a 16-6 record with a 3.77 ERA and 1.28 WHIP in 2016. The wheels fell off last sea­son (1-7, 7.84) and he was ban­ished to the bullpen.

Ac­cord­ing to Brooks Base­ball, Till­man lost more the 2 mph off his fast­ball, both his four-seam and two-seam sinker, from 93.4 mph in 2016 to 91 mph last sea­son. Op­po­nents hit .316 off his four-seamer and .408 off his sinker last sea­son. In 2016, they hit those pitches at a .245 and .285 clip, re­spec­tively.

As for bullpen help, the Tigers are among sev­eral teams in­ter­ested in Ja­panese closer Yoshi­hisa Hi­rano.

The right-han­der will turn 34 in March and from 2013 through last sea­son posted 143 saves, a 2.62 ERA and 9.4 strike­outs per nine in­nings for the Orix Buf­faloes.

The Tigers cer­tainly would be in­ter­ested in former Cubs re­liever Hec­tor Ron­don, as well, But the ask­ing price, some­where in the $6-mil­lion range, is prob­a­bly too steep.

Be­sides shop­ping for pitch­ers, the Tigers also will con­tinue to ac­tively shop sec­ond base­man Ian Kinsler. As of last month, sev­eral teams, in­clud­ing the An­gels, Brew­ers, Blue Jays and Di­a­mond­backs, had showed at least some in­ter­est.

“We had phone calls (on Kinsler) even be­fore com­ing here,” Avila said last month.

“We will take it slow. We’re not go­ing to rush into any­thing.”

Avila has in­di­cated, too, that he is open to lis­ten­ing to any and all of­fers, in­clud­ing those on play­ers like Shane Greene, Jose Igle­sias, Nick Castel­lanos and Michael Ful­mer — though it seems a long shot those play­ers will be traded this off-sea­son. Their val- ue could be higher at the trade dead­line.

“If there’s a trade or a person to be signed to­day for this year that makes sense, and makes us bet­ter one way or an­other, that’s what we will pur­sue,” Avila said. “If it hap­pens to be a player fans are re­ally ex­cited about, great. But we can’t ac­quire or make trades that will make us weaker down the road just to be happy to­day.”

The Tigers are ex­pected to add a player on Thurs­day, as well. They have the first pick in the Rule 5 Draft. Among the play­ers pre­sumed to be on the Tigers’ board are Braves mid­dle-in­fielder Travis De­meritte and a pair of Twins pitch­ers, Kohl Ste­wart and Nick Burdi.

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