Detroit Tigers Reportedly Sign Infielder Luis Valdes to Minors Deal
Detroit Tigers fans could potentially see a new face next season, as the team has reportedly signed Cuban shortstop Luis Valdes to a minors deal.
Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila has reportedly added more depth.
After bringing in minor league free agents like Alex Presley, Edward Mujica, Dustin Molleken and A.J. Achter, the general manager has reportedly made another signing.
According to the latest report from Baseball America’s Ben Badler, the club has signed infielder Luis Valdes to a minors deal.
Badler broke the news in an article for Baseball America on Wednesday, writing:
"“The Tigers have reached an agreement to sign Cuban shortstop Luis Valdes to a minor league contract. Valdes, 28, is exempt from the international bonus pools.”"
A shortstop by trade, Valdes has also seen limited time at second base. He should give Detroit an alternative to Dixon Machado, Omar Infante and Brendan Ryan moving forward.
Jose Iglesias and Ian Kinsler are obviously Detroit’s starters, while Andrew Romine is the top reserve.
Meanwhile, the trio of Machado, Infante and Ryan make up the Tigers next tier of infield depth.
With Machado out of options and Infante and Ryan in camp as non-roster invitees, there’s a possibility that none of the three will make the Major League roster and move on.
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Valdes gives the Tigers another option.
In seven seasons in Cuba, the shortstop is a .275 hitter with a .316 on-base percentage, a .392 slugging percentage and a .709 OPS.
Over that same span, he’s collected 154 RBI, 133 runs scored, 50 doubles, 24 home runs, seven triples and a pair of stolen bases.
Valdes’ best season came in 2014, when he batted .364 with a .413 on-base percentage, a .543 slugging percentage and a .956 OPS in 38 games.
While most of his numbers were impressive that season considering he nearly set career highs in home runs and RBI despite playing in significantly fewer games, Valdes plate discipline was excellent.
The infielder only struck out 10 times while drawing 10 walks.
Next: Spring Training Stats of Note
In fact, he’s never gone down on strikes more than 44 times in a season.