15 worst Detroit Tigers free agent signings in franchise history

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10. Mike Aviles, 2016

  • 1 year, $2 million
  • -1.5 WAR, 68 games, .210 BA, .528 OPS

While $2 million is a paltry figure, especially during the Tigers free-spending days of nearly a decade ago, and utiliyman Mike Aviles was never going to make or break the season, this contract makes the list just because of how badly it turned out. 

Baseball-Reference put his WAR at -1.5 during just 68 games on the field for Detroit. FanGraphs was only a little bit more forgiving, going -1.1. No matter which you’d rather rely on or how insignificant the money spent, you can’t argue that bringing in a free agent only to have him send the team backward by more than a game is just a horrible signing all around.

Aviles made 181 plate appearances for the Tigers that year and hit .210 with .528 OPS. He had six extra-base hits, six RBI, and was caught stealing in 2 of his 4 attempts. His glove failed him too, making him as bad in the field as at the plate.

The Tigers finished in second place in the AL Central that year.