The Detroit Tigers continue to have holes to fill at center field and catcher, but Al Avila decided to sign yet another minor league infielder.
The long-time infielder has played with the St. Louis Cardinals, Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees, and most recently, the Los Angeles Angels.
This signing is hardly worth noticing, other than for the oddity of it all. Ryan’s best season was in 2009 when he batted a slash of .292/.340/.400 with an OPS of .740. Since then, about the only thing worth mentioning is his 2012 dWAR number of 3.6 – which is certainly notable. During this season, he played shortstop for the Mariners.
According to Jon Heyman, Ryan’s deal is “a minor-league deal that will be worth $625k should he reach the major leagues.”
Ryan’s signing seems to be redundant. The Tigers already have a few young, lean, and hungry middle infielders. JaCoby Jones and Dixon Machado are two home-grown players who would love to see regular MLB time. Hopefully, this odd signing is not an omen that Jose Iglesias is on his way out. Trading away a complete player like Iglesias would go against the Tigers prior goal of having a roster with young, lean, and hungry players.
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It seems like the Tigers enjoy hiring players with similar names. Currently, the Tigers have several Justins: Justin Verlander, Justin Upton, and Justin Wilson along with Alex Wilson. Now they will have a pair of Ryans: Kyle Ryan and Brendan Ryan. And, don’t forget the Michaels: Mike Pelfrey and Michael Fulmer. Maybe Al Avila can get a few more players with similar names, just for fun!?
It might be worth making a small bet about whether or not Brendan Ryan will actually show up in Detroit. The odds are against it, especially considering the limited time he saw in Los Angeles in 2016. He made appearances in 17 games, where he had one hit, one run, and seven strikeouts in 14 plate appearances.
If this signing is leaving you scratching your head, wondering what in the world Al Avila is thinking, please know that you are not alone. The last thing the Tigers need is a has-been. And, Avila just found one.