How 13 players from last year’s Detroit Tigers are performing with their new teams this season

More than a dozen players from 2022 Tigers are with new organizationss

Gregory Soto, Harold Castro, Willi Castro, Michael Fulmer, and Jeimer Candelario. (2023 Getty Images)

DETROIT – Between the moves made by Al Avila and Scott Harris over the past nine months, the Detroit Tigers have turned over about half of their active roster since last season.

In many cases, Harris decided to cut ties with players who have been with the Tigers for most of this rebuild. Whether that meant moving on from the likes of Jeimer Candelario and Harold Castro or trading Gregory Soto, it gave the team a whole new look.

State of the Tigers ---> Orioles sweep gives Tigers fans painful first-hand look at how a rebuild should work

Now, members of the 2022 Tigers are scattered throughout baseball. Here’s a look at how they’re performing nearly one month into the season.

Tucker Barnhart

How he left: Granted free agency.

Current team: Chicago Cubs

Fans were excited when Al Avila traded for Barnhart early in the 2022 free agency period. It was a sign that the organization was finally going to make moves to improve the roster and try to contend for the postseason.

But the Barnhart era in Detroit did not go well. He hit just one home run in 94 games and posted an unsightly .554 OPS.

He’s backing up Yan Gomes for the Cubs this season, and the offense still isn’t clicking. Barnhart is 5-for-25 without an extra-base hit. He’s clearly a defense-first backup at this point in his career.

Daz Cameron

How he left: Selected off waivers by the Baltimore Orioles.

Current team: Baltimore Orioles (minors)

From the tIme the Tigers acquired him in the Justin Verlander trade to when they removed him from the 40-man roster this offseason, Cameron showed flashes of potential but never hit consistently enough to stay on the team.

He started this season with the Triple-A Norfolk Tides, batting .225 with two homers in 13 games. As a 26-year-old playing in the minors, there’s reason to doubt Cameron will ever become a true everyday MLB player.

Jeimer Candelario

How he left: Granted free agency.

Current team: Washington Nationals

The end of the Candelario era was beyond frustrating. He was a legitimately above-average player in 2021, posting a .795 OPS with 16 home runs, a .351 on-base percentage, and a league-leading 42 doubles.

But the sequel was disappointing, as Candelario saw his production fall across the board in 2022. The Tigers decided not to tender him a contract, and now he’s playing for the National League version of the Tigers.

Candelario has had some nice moments for the Nationals so far, and is sporting a respectable .713 OPS through 21 games. He’s the team’s everyday third baseman and batting in the middle of the lineup. He would currently be second on the Tigers in home runs and third in OPS.

Harold Castro

How he left: Granted free agency.

Current team: Colorado Rockies

Castro had a serviceable career with the Tigers despite not having much pop in his bat. He’s a reliable contact hitter who can play most positions on the field, which has value off the bench.

When he signed with the Rockies, it seemed like an environment in which he could thrive, considering Coors Field provides such a batting average boost.

But the first 15 games have been a bit of an adjustment for Castro. He’s hitting just .158 with no walks and no extra-base hits. His OPS+ is -19 -- I’m not even sure how that’s possible, because MLB average is 100.

This feels like a situation where the Tigers will go to Colorado on June 30 and Castro will have a 4-for-4 game to raise his average from .168 to .211, or something like that. But for now, he’s struggling.

Willi Castro

How he left: Granted free agency.

Current team: Minnesota Twins

Willi Castro, like Harold, has carved out a bit of a utility role for the division rival Twins this season, playing four different positions (and pitcher!) across 14 games.

He’s batting just .185, but does have a pair of doubles and a homer. He also retired the only batter he faced in his first career appearance on the mound.

The Tigers were excited about Willi Castro when they got him in a trade from Cleveland, but his offensive limitations don’t offer much upside. He’ll probably get a few hits against the Tigers this season, but it won’t be a breakup the organization regrets.

Andrew Chafin

How he left: Opted out of contract and elected free agency.

Current team: Arizona Diamondbacks

It’s such a bummer that Tigers fans only got to watch “The Sheriff” for one year.

Chafin was excellent last season, striking out 67 batters in 57.1 innings while posting a 2.83 ERA and 1.17 WHIP.

He returned to Arizona -- where he spent his first six MLB seasons -- this offseason and has taken a slim lead in their closer battle, racking up three saves in 11 appearances. Chafin owns a 2.89 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP and has struck out 14 hitters in 9.1 innings.

He sure would look good at the back-end of the Tigers’ bullpen right now.

Kody Clemens

How he left: Traded to Philadelphia Phillies with Gregory Soto for Matt Vierling, Nick Maton, and Donny Sands.

Current team: Philadelphia Phillies

Clemens was a bit of a throw-in to round out the Gregory Soto trade, and he’s been about as inconsequential with the Phillies as he was with the Tigers.

In 20 plate appearances, Clemens has one homer, one single, and seven strikeouts.

Michael Fulmer

How he left: Traded to Minnesota Twins for Sawyer Gipson-Long.

Current team: Chicago Cubs

It hurt to see Fulmer traded at the deadline last season because he was once such a promising pitching prospect and had evolved into an excellent late-inning reliever.

Now he’s with the Cubs, and he’s not doing much to make Tigers fans miss him. Fulmer was among the pitchers battling for the closer role when the Cubs broke camp, but he’s played his way out of that discussion.

In 9.1 innings, Fulmer has allowed 14 hits and nine earned runs while striking out 12 batters. He’s been a bit unlucky, but anytime a pitcher has a WHIP near 2.00, he’s flirting with disaster.

Robbie Grossman

How he left: Traded to Atlanta Braves for Kris Anglin.

Current team: Texas Rangers

For one year, the Grossman contract looked like a steal for the Tigers, as he hit 23 home runs, stole 20 bases, and finished with 2.8 WAR.

He didn’t do much in 2022, though, and the Tigers were happy to find someone who would take him at the trade deadline.

Grossman is getting plenty of playing time with the Rangers this season, but he’s yet to find his stroke. His .632 OPS is only slightly better than what he gave the Tigers last year.

Derek Hill

How he left: Granted free agency.

Current team: Washington Nationals (minors)

Unlike Candelario, Hill hasn’t made his debut for the Nationals just yet. He’s currently with their Triple-A team in Rochester, New York.

The former first-round pick showed some promise as a center fielder with the Tigers, but his bat never earned him more than a handful of games at the MLB level.

In five games at Triple-A this season, he’s 7-for-19 with a home run and two doubles. He’ll probably get a chance in the Washington outfield at some point this season.

Joe Jimenez

How he left: Traded to Atlanta Braves for Jake Higginbotham and Justyn-Henry Malloy.

Current team: Atlanta Braves

For the first time since his All-Star campaign in 2018, Jimenez delivered on his prospect potential in 2022, giving the Tigers 56.2 innings with 77 strikeouts, a 3.49 ERA, and a 1.09 WHIP.

He was traded for a pair of prospects in the offseason and is off to a strong start with the Braves, allowing just two earned runs over eight innings, while striking out 10.

At 28 years old, Jimenez will likely get a nice free agent contract this offseason.

Victor Reyes

How he left: Granted free agency.

Current team: Chicago White Sox (minors)

Considering he was a Rule 5 draft pick in 2018, the Tigers have to feel like they got solid production out of Reyes. He posted 2.2 WAR across 294 games from 2019-2022.

For now, Reyes is a 28-year-old tearing up Triple-A. He’s already hit three homers and four doubles in 80 plate appearances, while sporting a .320 batting average.

Gregory Soto

How he left: Traded to Philadelphia Phillies with Kody Clemens for Matt Vierling, Nick Maton, and Donny Sands.

Current team: Philadelphia Phillies

Harris’ first major move as president of the Tigers was to trade Soto for a pair of young MLB bats. While Vierling and Maton have both had their moments, the Tigers definitely miss Soto in the late innings.

In a league-leading 12 games, Soto has struck out 14 batters and allowed just four hits in 10.1 innings. He’s still walking over 5 batters per nine innings, but overall, the Phillies have to be happy with his results.

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.