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Tigers sign Tom Gorzelanny

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Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Tigers have signed former Pirates starter Tom Gorzelanny to a one-year deal, as the Littlefield era continues to taunt us. Low-leverage relief is where you'd hide a player you're keeping purely to troll another team, right?

No, actually, we don't get to complain this time. Gorzelanny came from an era in which the Pirates couldn't seem to get consecutive good seasons from a starting pitcher, and he was in the midst of a second straight poor season when the Pirates traded him and John Grabow to the Cubs. That deal, however, brought back Josh Harrison, so it's okay, karmically, that his career as a middle reliever continues. I'll allow it. The Pirates sold low on Gorzelanny and still came out fine.

Gorzelanny hasn't had a high profile since departing because he hasn't ever had the kind of terrific season Zach Duke had last year and because he's never had overwhelming stuff, but he's been perfectly useful lately, at least when healthy. He struck out 23 batters in 21 innings with Milwaukee last season, and was helpful in a swingman role for four years before that.

In other news regarding former Pirates, catcher Nevin Ashley has signed a minor league deal with the Brewers. The 30-year-old hit .246/.332/.345 while backing up Tony Sanchez at Indianapolis last season.