Detroit Tigers: Outfielder Nomar Mazara signs to one-year deal
The Detroit Tigers signed outfielder Nomar Mazara to a one-year-deal. Cody Stavenhagen, Jon Heyman, and Robert Murray were among the first to report the story. The reported deal is for $1.75 million dollars.
The Detroit Tigers have had quite a busy February with their third signing of the month. Let’s do a recap of all of the signings
- Minor league deals with invites to major league camp: Infielder Greg Garcia, LHP Derek Holland, RHP Erasmo Ramírez and 1B/DH Renato Núñez
- Infielder Jonathan Schoop: One-year $4.5 million dollar contract.
- Catcher Wilson Ramos: One-year, $2 million dollar contract
- RHP Jose Ureña: One-year, $3.5 million dollar contract
- Outfielder Robbie Grossman Two-years $10 million dollar contract
The common thread for Mazara is that he gets to work with Detroit Tigers hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh, who was the assistant hitting coach for the White Sox last season. Coolbaugh also was Schoop’s hitting coach when he was in Baltimore.
Among our contributors here at MCB, a vast majority of us thought Mazara would be a good fit for the Detroit Tigers. I even projected him to be in the Opening Day lineup back in December based on how they pursued him last off-season.
Why Nomar Mazara is a good fit for the Detroit Tigers
The left-handed-hitting Mazara aka “The Big Chill”, has had three 20-home runs seasons since he debuted in 2016 at the age of 21. He struggled last year due to strep throat and as he said back in September, he felt something was off.
Defensively in 2020, he posted his first positive DRS (Total Defensive Runs Saved runs above average) with 2. According to FanGraphs ZiPS projections, he is projected to hit .248/.308/.416 with 18 home runs and 74 RBIs, and an fWAR of 0.5.
He would provide power to the outfield that has been missing recently. In 2018, Nicholas Castellanos was the last outfielder to hit more than 20 home runs.
There are two questions left to answer for the Detroit Tigers to address with Nomar Mazara.
- Where does he fit in the outfield?
The starting outfield could look like Mazara in left, JaCoby Jones in centerfield, and Robbie Grossman in right. Mazara can play either corner position and could serve as a DH when Miguel Cabrera is playing first base.
This gives manager AJ Hinch another bat with power against right-handed pitching, which was a key item he and Al Avila were addressing this off-season. Mazara has hit .267/.333/.448 with 65 home runs in 1738 plate appearances against righties.
2. Who does he replace on the 40-man roster?
Detroit drafted Akli Baddoo in the Rule 5 draft so do the Tigers make a move to keep in and send him down to the minors? Both Christin Stewart and Derek Hill have minor league options and I don’t believe the front office has given up on either player.
We will find out within the next few days but Detroit should consider adding at least another starter to the rotation. The Tigers are still lacking an innings eater and adding a veteran starter could help out a young rotation.