Detroit Tigers utility player Andrew Romine is one of the most versatile players in baseball, but the team could use another option to pair with the veteran. Richie Shaffer could be a fit.
However, outside of Romine, the club is lacking a true utility ace. One capable of seeing time in both the infield and the outfield.
One player who could be a potential solution is Richie Shaffer.
Shaffer was a first-round pick of the Rays in 2012. He was recently designated for assignment by Cleveland in order to make room for Carlos Frias.
Detroit’s American League Central rivals announced the move in a press release.
It has been a busy offseason for the former Rays player, who was originally dealt to Seattle along with Taylor Motter for three prospects.
The Clemson product also spent brief stints as a member of the Philadelphia and Cincinnati organizations in December.
Potential Fit With the Detroit Tigers
Andrew Romine is the only player on Detroit’s roster who could see time in both the infield and outfield.
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Adding Shaffer would give Brad Ausmus more options in terms of flexibility and late-game situations.
Able to play both infield and outfield corners, Shaffer would give Detroit another option at first base.
What’s more, the utility player would also provide depth in the outfield corners. He would provide a better defensive presence than Moya while also bringing some pop.
In 188 career games at Triple-A, the former first-round pick collected 93 RBI. He also chipped in with 91 runs scored, 44 doubles and 30 home runs.
Potential Long-Term Contributor
What is perhaps most appealing about Shaffer—apart from his defensive flexibility—are his controllability and age.
Only 25-years-old, the one-time Mariner is controllable through 2021 according to Spotrac. What’s more, the player isn’t even arbitration eligible for two more seasons.
The bottom line is that Detroit is looking to get younger. Taking a flier on a relatively young, former first-round pick would help move the team in that direction.