June 25, 2024

Longtime Tigers reliever gets MLB deal with Angels

Longtime Detroit Tigers reliever Jose Cisnero has signed a major-league deal with the Los Angeles Angels.

The veteran right-hander, who turns 35 in April, agreed to a one-year deal with a $1.75 million guarantee, according to MLB.com.

Cisnero spent parts of five seasons with the Tigers after signing as a minor-league free agent before the 2019 season.

Before that, Cisnero had spent years out of affiliated baseball, with stops in Mexico, Venezuela, an American independent league, the Dominican winter league and a lesser-known summer league in the Dominican Republic.

“When I came here in 2019, I was just looking for an opportunity,” he said during an interview last spring. “I’ve worked hard to stay here all these years.”

Cisnero had an up-and-down finish to his Tigers’ tenure. He returned from a lengthy stint on the injured list on July 21, 2022. From that date until June 30, 2023, Cisnero had a 1.56 ERA in 56 innings, the third-lowest ERA in all of baseball (minimum 50 innings).

Then the bottom fell out.

From July 1 through Aug. 28 last summer, Cisnero posted an 11.21 ERA in 17 2/3 innings, giving up 23 runs on 29 hits.

He was placed on waivers at the end of August but wasn’t claimed and ended up finishing the season with the Tigers.

Cisnero will join an Angels’ bullpen stocked with free-agent relievers, including Robert Stephenson, Luis Garcia, Adam Cimber and former Tigers teammate Matt Moore.

Two right-handed pitchers who opened the 2023 season in the Tigers’ rotation — Michael Lorenzen and Spencer Turnbull — remain unsigned with just one week until the start of spring training.

Lorenzen was the Tigers’ All-Star representative in 2023 before being dealt to the Philadelphia Phillies at the deadline. He threw a no-hitter for his new team but then struggled the rest of the way.

Lorenzen finished 9-9 with a 4.18 ERA in 29 appearances (25 starts) over 153 innings. He struck out 111 and walked 47.

The Tigers declined to offer Turnbull a contract for 2024 after a strange 2023 season. The Tigers twice attempted to Turnbull to Triple-A Toledo. Both times the option was later rescinded due to an injury. Turnbull fought and ultimately got the freedom he desired, but it came at a cost. He’s unlikely to have many big-league offers after missing all of 2022 with injury and struggling during his limited action in 2023.

Tigers place Jose Cisnero on waivers; claim another lefty reliever - Bless  You Boys

While Turnbull might have to accept a non-roster invitation, the only question for Lorenzen is whether he’ll get a two-year big-league contract or will have to settle for another one-year deal.

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