The 32-year-old, under a two-year, $13 million contract, has a $6.5 million player option for 2023, meaning he can exercise his option to lock in that salary for next season or waive the option next season. season. the benefit of entering the free-agent market for the third offseason in a row.
Chafin is likely to stay with the Tigers, but he’s not going to show his cards.
“There is no point in jumping to any conclusions from this,” Chafin said. “I have a lot of time before I have to make a decision, one way or another. Right now I’m just going to focus on this last episode, go home, relax a bit, gather some information and try it out. to make the best decision we can.”
Aside from the Tigers’ record of 66–93 with three games remaining, Chafin enjoyed his 2022 season.
The nine-year MLB veteran, serving on his fourth team in three years, has developed close bonds with his teammates, especially food mate and locker room mate Jason Foley. The coaching staff treated him well; he spent most of his time with serving assistant coach Juan Nieves.
“It was a great experience in that respect,” Chafin said. “Actually, I have no complaints about this. The record wasn’t what we wanted it to be, but it’s baseball. Not everyone can win every time.”
His numbers were everything the Tigers hoped for when they signed him last March. He posted a 2.84 ERA with 18 walks and 66 strikeouts in 57 innings in 63 games. AT Monday’s win over the Seattle Mariners 4-3., Chafin slammed the door in the ninth inning with his second save in three games and the 11th of his 475-game career. He passed Gregory Soto and Joe Jimenez (injured list) for sole possession for the second most appearances on the team.
Only Alex Lange has more, with 70 outings.
“I’ve talked to Chaf a lot throughout this and he has options,” manager AJ Hinch said. “We will see where it all falls when it should happen. He was very, very valuable to us and definitely a part of our winning bullpen when we had a road to victory.”
In addition to numbers, Chafin has a showy demeanor. He always makes himself available to serve and will not refuse to pass the ball, no matter the situation. He took the mound 14 times in the sixth inning, 32 times in the seventh, 22 times in the eighth, four times in the ninth and twice in the extras.
“Give me the ball and I’ll throw it,” he said.
Distance from home influenced Chafin’s decision to sign with the Tigers. During the off-season, he lives on a farm — over 200 acres — near Massillon, Ohio, about an hour south of Cleveland. He and his wife Shelby have two young daughters. In addition to Cleveland and Pittsburgh, Detroit is the closest destination to his family (and his farm)..
All this will also affect his upcoming decision.
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“It was definitely very convenient to be as close to home as I am,” Chafin said. “This is something that will definitely be taken into account. Being able to be so close to my family is fantastic. Let’s see how everything goes.”
Conversations with Hinch and new president of baseball operations Scott Harris have already helped the Tigers get another season with Chafin at the club. Harris and Hinch seem to have convinced Chafin that winning baseball is just around the corner, and if he wants to be a part of it, he’d better use the $6.5 million player option.
“A few conversations that have been so far piqued my interest, if you will,” Chafin said. “I think things will turn in the right direction here, so that’s what we can expect from this team next season.”
This article originally appeared in the Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers’ Andrew Chafin Discusses 2023 Player of the Year Option