Detroit Tigers Rumors

Detroit Tigers: Should they sign infielder Cory Spangenberg?

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SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 15: Cory Spangenberg #15 of the San Diego Padres hits a solo home run during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels at PETCO Park on August 15, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 15: Cory Spangenberg #15 of the San Diego Padres hits a solo home run during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels at PETCO Park on August 15, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /
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The Detroit Tigers could use more infield depth on their 2019 roster. Could recently released infielder Cory Spangenberg be the answer?

Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila has plenty of bargain bin free agents to choose from this offseason. While Detroit’s primary needs on the infield are at first base (assuming Miguel Cabrera moves to DH) and at shortstop, the team could certainly use some more depth at the other spots as well.

The San Diego Padres made a flurry of moves just ahead of the 40-man roster protection deadline, which included releasing 27-year-old infielder Cory Spangenberg. Spangenberg has primarily played second base and third base in his five-year career, although he does have some experience in the outfield as well.

So would he be a good fit for the Tigers?

Cory Spangenberg in Detroit

Spangenberg’s career got off to a promising enough start, with the left-handed hitter posting a nice .274/.330/.408 slash line with a 107 OPS+ in 410 plate appearances between the 2014 and 2015 seasons. However, since then he has only hit .251/.312/.384, good for just an 88 OPS+.

Things hit an all-time low in 2018, with Spangenberg posting just a .235/.298/.362 line. His strikeout rate climbed to an all-time high of 32.8%, and his .298 OBP was a career-low.

However, Spangenberg is still just 27, so there’s a chance he can return to those plus numbers from earlier in his career. He swings from the left-side, something the Tigers could use after losing Victor Martinez (a switch-hitter) to retirement.

He has logged over 1,000 innings at both second base and third base, although he does not offer plus defense at either spot. His experience in left field could make him a nice super-utility player for the Tigers, who can also provide decent pop off the bench.

Presently, Detroit will likely head into the season with Ronny Rodriguez or Pete Kozma as their utility infielder, depending what they choose to do at shortstop. Spangenberg likely represents an upgrade over either of them, although his inexperience at shortstop could be an issue.

dark. Next. Should the Tigers pursue Justin Bour?

The Detroit Tigers have a lot of options to better their 2019 roster without breaking the bank. Bringing in a utility infielder with some pop like Spangenberg fits the bill, and is a move Avila should check into.

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