Detroit Tigers Sign 14 Players to Minor League Contracts
Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila didn’t make any signings at the Winter Meetings, but wasted no time adding depth on Friday. The Tigers announced that the team signed 14 players to minors deals.
Detroit Tigers fans have yet to see a major move this offseason.
The trade of Cameron Maybin to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim has been the closest thing to major deal at this point.
However, that hasn’t stopped the team from adding depth.
Left-handed reliever Daniel Stumpf was added via the Rule 5 draft, while Michigan State product and former Angel A.J. Achter was reportedly signed to a minor league deal.
Now, it seems that Detroit has added even more depth.
In a press release on the team’s official website, the Tigers announced the signings of 14 players to minor league pacts.
Among the fourteen include a number of former Detroit players.
Omar Infante returns for his third tour of duty with the club. The veteran began his Major League career in the Motor City in 2002 and stayed with the Tigers through the 2007 campaign. Following that, he was dealt to Chicago for outfielder Jacque Jones.
After stints in Atlanta and Miami, the infielder returned to Detroit in the Anibal Sanchez trade in 2012.
Most recently, Infante spent three seasons in Kansas City, where he hit .238 with a .269 on-base percentage in 298 games.
In eight years with the Tigers, Infante owns a .266 batting average and a .704 OPS. He’s a lifetime .257 hitter at Comerica Park.
Other Former Tigers
In addition to Infante, Dustin Molleken, Logan Kensing, Jeff Ferrell return to the organization.
Both Molleken and Kensing pitched briefly for the club last season, while Ferrell saw action in a Detroit uniform during the 2015 campaign.
Minor League Depth
Additionally, many of the players signed have previously played in the Tigers system.
Cory Riordan, a 30-year-old minor league veteran, pitched as a starter for Erie and Toledo last season. He struck out 6.6 batters per nine innings and was particularly efficient with the Mud Hens, where he posted a 3.58 ERA.
Johan Belisario struggled in a brief stint with Lakeland last year, but the 23-year-old showed promise in both 2014 and 2015.
In 2014. The reliever notched a 0.79 ERA in 34 innings for Connecticut. That number rose slightly in 2015 at West Michigan to 1.79. Respectively, he struck out 8.8 and 9.0 batters per nine innings during the two seasons.
Additionally, Ruben Alaniz saw time with both Erie and Toledo last season, while 24-year-old Endrys Briceno spent 2016 with Lakeland.
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28-year-old infielder Gustavo Nunez spent 2016 at Double-A Erie after playing for Pittsburgh’s Triple-A affiliate in 2015. He previously made his professional debut in the Tigers organization in 2007.
Like Nunez, Argenis Diaz has spent time in both the Pittsburgh and Detroit systems. He played second base, shortstop and third base for Toledo last season.
Rounding out the list of players with previous ties to the Tigers organization include Santiago Garrido and Miguel Gonzalez.
Garrido pitched out of the bullpen for Lakeland and Erie, while Gonzalez caught games for Toledo last season. The backstop previously notched nine at-bats for the White Sox in 2013.
Elsewhere, William Cuevas and Arcenio Leon join the Detroit Tigers organization.
Cuevas, a 26-year-old reliever, logged 3.60 ERA in three appearances for Boston last season. He has previous experience starting in the minors.
Leon has previously spent time in the farm systems of the Astros, Brewers and White Sox. Last season, he pitched in the Mexican League, where he notched 36 saves and a 3.30 ERA in 62.2 innings pitched.
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Per the press release, Infante, Kensing, Molleken, Cuevas, Alainz and Gonzalez will all head to Major League spring training.