Recently, the Detroit Tigers like to sign a few minor league free agents to fill out the rosters in the minor leagues. Let’s take a look at five players that fit some needs in their roster.
There are a few names in the 2020 Detroit Tigers summer camp that are now minor league free agents again. Dario Agrazel, Dawel Lugo, Jorge Bonifacio all saw action for Detroit during the shortened season and Frank Schwindel was in camp but was never called up and recently signed with Oakland. Agrazel came over in a trade last winter from the Pirates but a forearm strain kept him away from making any real contribution to the roster. Shao-Ching Chiang, who was signed, was reportedly throwing at a high-velocity in camp but was never brought up.
The rest of the list:
- Tim Adleman
- Jose Azocar
- Sandy Baez
- Tom de Blok
- Alberoni Nunez
- Jhon Nunez
- Dereck Rodriguez
- Brian Schales
- Kade Scivicque
Worth noting that Scivicque and Nunez were both org catchers for depth purposes so it makes sense with Jake Rogers, Eric Haase, and Grayson Greiner all on the roster. Detroit still has to make a choice at catcher so one or two of them could end up going to Toledo to start the season.
The Tigers do need starting pitching as we have mentioned before and the projected rosters at Toledo and Erie (pending the announcement of the new minor league agreement), will need a few arms to fill out the rotation. Let’s take a look at five names who would be good fits to get a non-roster invite.
This name is a total shot in the dark but with every manager, there are players or coaches they are familiar with and Ritchie is no exception. The former right-handed-hitting Houston catcher was in the Astros’ player pool this summer. A.J Hinch has seen him enough in camps so this could be an idea for a player to bring in.
His receiving grades out well with an average arm, solid OBP with a decent walk rate to the tune of 10.4% in the minors. He is a line drive type of hitter, putting up a slash line of .270/.375/.409 with five home runs, 20 doubles, and 33 RBI over 301 plate appearances at Triple-A Round Rock in 2019
Because of his age (he turns 24 in January) he is an intriguing arm in the sense since COVID, he has been stuck in Brazil since spring camp ended so nothing has been recent with him but looking at numbers in the Diamondbacks system in 2019, he put up an ERA of 3.72, an xFIP of 3.86 and K per 9 of 7.89. He was with Arizona in spring training, throwing a pair of scoreless innings before he was sent down to minor league camp.
According to 2080 Baseball, he throws a fastball that touches 90-91 with a pair of breaking pitches and a changeup with some fringy stuff. It is intriguing enough to see what he could do in Erie? Maybe, but there are a few other choices to consider but because of his age, I thought we should throw him in there.
The left-hander Sánchez made one start for the Cardinals in 2020 after he was picked up from Seattle. Originally signed by the Angles as an international free agent, he was traded to Atlanta in 2015 for Kyle Kubitza.
He was number 30 on the Cardinals prospect list according to MLB Pipeline. He features a four-seam fastball, change-up, curveball, and slider. He has shown the ability to throw three-plus pitches but the lack of control may be the reason he might not stick in a rotation, however, he just turned 23, and lefties are always given plenty of opportunities. Currently, the Tigers have just Tarik Skubal as the only left-handed starter. Outside of that, Joey Wentz is out due to Tommy John surgery and Adam Wolf has not pitched above A-ball.
Ramos is more of a one-inning reliever but has the experience, appearing in 173 games with the Phillies and got an invite to Dodgers camp in 2020. He had a strong 2018 out of Philly’s bullpen, posting an ERA of 2.32 and a WHIP of 1.14. He struggled in 2019 due to shoulder issues but for bullpen depth, a non-roster invite to camp with the fastball spin he posses, it is worth taking a look.
The Tigers were once linked to the Cuban outfielder but after being a major bust with the Red Sox, he was recently released. Currently, he is playing with Mexicali in the Mexican Pacific Winter League. He has shown potential but not a chance to be a regular. He is 33, granted, but worth a non-roster invite to spring training to see what’s left in the tank. If Detroit is limited to spend, it is worth taking a look at because he can play all three spots in the outfield.