Detroit Tigers utility-man Andy Ibañez is worth keeping around.
It may be early to start plugging away with the "keep the utility man around' narrative, as the off-season has barely started, but the Detroit Tigers did an excellent job in 2023. Andy Ibañez has been an exceptional addition to the Tigers organization.
For the Detroit Tigers, putting together their roster and finding depth additions is an important piece of the puzzle. This year, the Tigers put some stock into Andy Ibañez, who was one of the many waiver claims and menial additions the team brought in last winter/spring.
The Tigers tried to stockpile some depth options to throw at the wall, hoping to see what might stick. In the case of Ibañez, he did. It was a solid performance in 2023, and he did a great job at settling in with Detroit, making the most of his opportunities.
It's too early to really know what the landscape of the Tigers roster will look like in 2024, but for Ibañez, it's hard not to see a world where he stays. Ibañez is arbitration-eligible, not being a free agent until 2028, so why not bring him back to be a viable utility option off the bench to call upon?
In 2023, Ibañez played in 114 games where he slashed .264/.312/.433 with 23 doubles, two triples, and 11 home runs with 41 RBI to his credit. Over 383 plate appearances, Ibañez managed 24 walks and just 69 strikeouts in 2023 as well.
Positionally, Ibañez moved all around. He played first, second, and third while also playing the outfield as well. For the Tigers, it has to be nice to have a player that they can plug in almost anywhere, allowing him to fill a need with Detroit as much as they can.
For the Tigers, moving forward, one of the focuses will be establishing depth moving forward. Coming into 2024, knowing that Ibañez can be one of those players will be a big for the team as they build out their roster.
Detroit has to find players to fill holes. While their offseason is still yet to get fully underway, Ibañez will prove beneficial in the long term. He settled in well with Detroit after being claimed from the Rangers and proved to be a viable option for Detroit.
The Tigers were smart to grab Ibañez this off-season, and they yielded the benefits of having him around in 2023, getting him involved.