Tigers fill rotation vacancy with veteran Wolf
Detroit gets lefty, set to start Saturday, from Toronto for cash considerations
DETROIT -- The Tigers were a team with two sudden rotation voids looking for a veteran to help. Randy Wolf was a veteran pitcher looking for a big league job after a successful season at Triple-A Buffalo. They had mutual interest in a deal Thursday and quickly came together, with the Tigers acquiring the veteran left-hander from the Blue Jays for cash considerations.
"It came together quickly," manager Brad Ausmus said. "It all happened in the matter of, shoot, probably two hours."
Wolf won't have to wait long for his opportunity; he'll start against the Rangers at Comerica Park on Saturday, his 39th birthday. He'll fill one of the voids opened after Anibal Sanchez and Daniel Norris both went on the 15-day disabled list Thursday. Buck Farmer will fill the other, starting Monday's makeup game against the Reds in Cincinnati.
For Wolf, who made his big league debut in 1999, it'll be his 373rd career Major League start with his eighth organization, though just his third start in the American League. He last pitched in the big leagues with the Marlins in June 2014. Among his other stops were short stints with the Astros (one year) and Dodgers (two), where Tigers manager Brad Ausmus caught him three times.
"Probably the first teammate that I will manage," Ausmus said after Thursday's 4-0 win over the Rangers. "I've played with Wolfie, I've caught Wolfie. We've stayed in touch."
Wolf signed a Minor League deal with the Blue Jays in mid-March, hoping to get another shot, but he has spent the entire season at Triple-A Buffalo. He went 9-2 with a 2.58 ERA in 23 starts with the Bisons, averaging six innings a start while allowing 139 hits over 139 2/3 innings. He has struck out 106 and walked 40.
Wolf reportedly had asked the Blue Jays to release him earlier this month so that he could pursue a big league spot somewhere else. The Tigers didn't have the need until Thursday.
"Like I said, this happened fast," Ausmus reiterated.
Wolf owns a 133-120 career record with a 4.21 ERA. He put up back-to-back 13-win seasons in Milwaukee in 2010 and '11, but has struggled to find Major League success since.
Wolf's signing allows the Tigers to give an extra day of rest to his former Buffalo teammate, Matt Boyd. Boyd will start Sunday after making a relief appearance on his normal side session day, Wednesday, against the Cubs.
Farmer got the call to fill the other spot over lefty Kyle Ryan and highly-touted Double-A prospect Michael Fulmer. Farmer spent much of the year as a starting pitcher bouncing between Detroit and Toledo, but he hasn't started since July 31. The 24-year-old has two losses and a no-decision in his three Detroit starts this season, allowing 15 earned runs on 23 hits over 14 2/3 innings with four walks and nine strikeouts.