Yeah!!! Tigers did something!! Well, its nothing to get excited about, at least not 5 exclamation points worth of excitement. But in what has been a relatively quiet off-season, it is nice to have something to report. According to MLB Trade Rumors, the Tigers signed utility man Eric Patterson to a minor league contract. The most interesting thing about Patterson is the two positions that he plays the most, and that is LF and 2B. He is one of a few minor league free agents that the Twins haven’t signed this off-season, and most likely will be battling their powerhouse Triple-A Rochester team on the field in a Mud Hens uniform.
Patterson will be 29 years old early in the 2012 season. He has spent parts of five seasons in the big leagues with 4 different teams. In 508 career at-bats, Patterson has hit just .217 with an OPS of .637. A left handed batter, his claim to fame might be that he is the brother of OF Corey Patterson, who has had a much more successful big league career to this point. I guess he can run a little bit, he has been successful in 35 of his 40 stolen base attempts.
Given that Patterson isn’t a viable bat, it looks like there isn’t much point to the signing. That isn’t really the truth though. Patterson can provide a valuable service as an organizational guy who could come up in a pinch if necessary. Not all signings by organizations are done with the intent of helping improve the big club. That’s why they are minor league free agents. It could be just a simple matter of roster construction for the AAA team, and wanting to place a guy on that roster in order to provide some leadership from a guy that has big league service time.
I doubt very much Patterson has an effect on the Tigers season, but hey, it’s a move, and at least we got to report something.