Detroit Tigers pitchers Drew Hutchison, Ian Krol become free agents after clearing waivers

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The Detroit Tigers announced Friday that two pitchers were waived by the organization: right-hander Drew Hutchison and left-hander Ian Krol.

Hutchison and Krol were set for raises in salary arbitration, but the Tigers removed them from the roster to clear space in preparation for their offseason tasks. Both players cleared waivers and elected free agency, rather than accepting their assignments to Triple-A Toledo.

The Tigers have trimmed their 40-man roster to 36 players, but catcher Jake Rogers and right-handed pitchers Rony Garcia and Spencer Turnbull — three players on the 60-day injured list — must be reinstated to the roster by Sunday.

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Drew Hutchison of the Detroit Tigers delivers a pitch against the Kansas City Royals during the top of the fifth inning at Comerica Park on Sept. 25, 2021 in Detroit.
Drew Hutchison of the Detroit Tigers delivers a pitch against the Kansas City Royals during the top of the fifth inning at Comerica Park on Sept. 25, 2021 in Detroit.

Hutchison, 31, posted a 2.11 ERA with 11 walks and 10 strikeouts over 21⅓ innings in nine games (two starts) as a big-leaguer this season. He made his Tigers debut midway through August, marking his first MLB appearance since 2018.

Before joining the Tigers, Hutchison proved himself in Triple-A Toledo.

He logged a 3.77 ERA with 41 walks and 89 strikeouts across 88⅓ innings in 19 starts for the Mud Hens. The Tigers, searching for pitching depth, signed Hutchison to a minor-league contract in late February, just as spring training games began.

Hutchison has earned a 4.97 ERA, 481⅔ innings and 107 games (81 starts) in his six-year MLB career for the Toronto Blue Jays (2012-16), Pittsburgh Pirates (2016), Philadelphia Phillies (2018), Texas Rangers (2018) and Tigers (2021).

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Detroit Tigers manager A.J. Hinch (14) takes the ball from relief pitcher Ian Krol (63) during the sixth inning Sept. 21, 2021 against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park.
Detroit Tigers manager A.J. Hinch (14) takes the ball from relief pitcher Ian Krol (63) during the sixth inning Sept. 21, 2021 against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park.

Krol, 30, made his first stint with the Tigers in the 2014 and 2015 seasons. He also pitched for the Washington Nationals (2013), Atlanta Braves (2016-17) and Los Angeles Angels (2018) before his MLB career halted.

The minor leagues were canceled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so Krol turned to the Nerds Herd in the City of Champions Cup in Joliet, Illinois, for a bounce-back opportunity. His strong performance in the independent league earned him a second chance, as the Tigers signed Krol to a minor-league contract in December.

In July, Krol finally returned to the big leagues.

He finished with a 4.34 ERA, eight walks and 18 strikeouts, used primarily as a left-handed specialist, over 18⅔ innings in 18 relief appearances. For Triple-A Toledo, Krol had a 2.45 ERA, 12 walks and 31 strikeouts. He pitched 25⅔ innings across 20 games (one start) for the Mud Hens.

Krol owns a 4.49 ERA in his seven-year MLB career, completing 208⅔ innings in 243 games out of the bullpen.

If the Tigers are interested, Hutchison and Krol could return to the team on minor-league contracts ahead of spring training.

Contact Evan Petzold at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. Read more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers' Drew Hutchison, Ian Krol become free agents