Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila reportedly added more depth on Sunday. According to the latest report, the team inked reliever Mike Zagurski to a minor league deal.
Detroit Tigers fans have seen the team stay largely intact.
Additionally, the team brought back longtime Tigers catcher Alex Avila on a one-year deal in free agency.
Detroit also acquired center fielder Mikie Mahtook from the Tampa Bay Rays to bolster the center field position.
However, apart from those four moves, most of the team’s activity this offseason has come in the form of minor league signings.
Now, according to a tweet from ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, it seems as if Detroit has added more depth in the form of reliever Mike Zagurski.
Crasnick tweeted on Sunday morning, “After two years in Japan, lefty reliever Mike Zagurski has signed a minor league deal with the #Tigers.”
More on Zagurski
A five-year veteran, the left-handed reliever owns an unsightly 7.05 ERA in 75.1 Major League innings for four different franchises.
However, his 5.11 FIP and career rate of 9.0 strikeouts per nine innings suggest the reliever is better than his ERA would suggest.
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The 34-year-old’s best season came in 2012 with the Diamondbacks when he turned in a 4.62 FIP and 8.2 strikeouts per nine frames over the course of 37.1 innings.
Potential Contributor for the Detroit Tigers
Despite some high run-prevention stats, there’s still reason to believe Zagurski could contribute at the Major League level.
The left-handed reliever has been excellent in Triple-A. In 238.2 innings of work at the minors’ highest level, the left hander owns a 2.68 ERA and 12.0 strikeouts per nine frames.
What’s more, his career BABIP at the Major League level sits at .341, meaning he could be in line for a rebound season.
Potential Role in 2017
Despite reportedly signing a minors deal, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Detroit Tigers utilize Zagurski at some point next season.
The team’s 40-man roster is predominantly filled with right-handed pitchers.
Of the 24 hurlers on Detroit’s 40-man roster, only nine are southpaws. The nine pitchers include Matt Boyd, Daniel Norris, Buck Farmer, Blaine Hardy, Mark Lowe, Jairo Labourt, Stumpf, Kyle Ryan and Justin Wilson.
Boyd and Norris should start the season in the rotation, while Farmer is a candidate to be a depth starter.
Elsewhere, Mark Lowe is coming off a down season. What’s more, Stumpf has just five innings of Major League experience under his belt. Labourt has yet to reach Double-A.
In other words, the Detroit Tigers could use another left-handed relief option.