Detroit Tigers sign left-hander Matthew Boyd to one-year, $10 million contract

Matthew Boyd is returning to the Detroit Tigers.

Boyd, a left-handed pitcher, agreed to a one-year, $10 million contract with the Tigers on Thursday, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. His deal, pending a physical, includes $1 million in performance bonuses.

The club has not confirmed the signing.

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The 31-year-old previously pitched for the Tigers from 2015-21, earning the nod as the Opening Day starter in 2020 and 2021. After the 2021 season, the Tigers non-tendered Boyd — making him a first-time free agent — rather than paying him a projected $7.3 million in salary arbitration.

Left-hander Matthew Boyd is returning to the Detroit Tigers for the 2023 season.
Left-hander Matthew Boyd is returning to the Detroit Tigers for the 2023 season.

He will be a starting pitcher in the 2023 season.

Flexor tendon surgery in September 2021 derailed Boyd's chances of staying with the Tigers in 2022. Boyd, an unhealthy free agent last offseason, signed a one-year, $5.2 million contract with the San Francisco Giants in March 2022.

At the time, Scott Harris — now the Tigers' president of baseball operations — served as the general manager of the Giants.

"He finds ways to get wins in every aspect of the ballclub and make it a really well-tuned machine," Boyd told reporters in October when asked about Harris. "I was so impressed with him in San Francisco, in our conversations during the signing process and throughout the year. Detroit got a real winner in Scott. I'm excited to see what he's going to do going forward."

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The Giants traded Boyd to the Seattle Mariners in August 2022. The southpaw didn't return to the big-league mound until Sept. 1 as a reliever in a game against the Tigers at Comerica Park.

In 2022, Boyd posted a 1.35 ERA with eight walks and 13 strikeouts in 13⅓ innings over 10 appearances out of the bullpen. His fastball averaged 92.6 mph, and his slider registered a 34.6% swing-and-miss rate. Boyd also pitched one game in the American League Division Series against the Houston Astros.

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Matthew Boyd (48) throws against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning of a baseball game, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, in Cincinnati.
Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Matthew Boyd (48) throws against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning of a baseball game, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, in Cincinnati.

Entering 2023, the Tigers have three guaranteed starters: Boyd, left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez and right-hander Matt Manning. Righty Spencer Turnbull (returning from Tommy John surgery), righty Beau Brieske, lefty prospect Joey Wentz and righty Alex Faedo should also play key roles in the rotation.

The Tigers first acquired Boyd at the July 2015 trade deadline (with left-hander Daniel Norris) from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for future AL Cy Young-winning pitcher David Price, who spent approximately a year in Detroit.

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In parts of seven seasons with the Tigers, Boyd started 143 of his 147 games, tossed 777⅔ innings and logged a 4.87 ERA. He made 15 starts in 2021 and recorded a 3.89 ERA, 23 walks and 67 strikeouts over 78⅔ innings.

The Tigers still need to acquire a right-handed hitting outfielder and a left-handed hitting infielder this offseason. They are expected to check the market for a catcher and more pitchers, as well.

Jeff Passan of ESPN was the first to report the Tigers and Boyd were in agreement on a contract.

Contact Evan Petzold at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers sign LHP Matthew Boyd to one-year contract