Detroit Tigers Reportedly Sign Michael Almanzar to Minor League Deal
Detroit Tigers fans have seen the team sign a number of players to minor league contracts this offseason. According to the latest report, another name can be added to that list.
Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila has signed Major League veterans at multiple positions in order to give the organization more depth heading into next season.
However, the general manager has also added plenty of minor league veterans who are still young enough to develop into Major League contributors.
Zack Cox, who was a first-round pick of the Cardinals in 2010 and formerly rated as one of the game’s top third base prospects, signed with the organization.
Only 27, Cox hit .290 with 45 extra-base hits and an .800 OPS at Triple-A last season.
He could eventually transition into a role as Nick Castellanos‘ long-term backup.
Detroit also inked free agent infielder Gabriel Quintana to a minors deal.
The fellow third baseman, who can also man first base and left field, swatted 28 doubles and 20 home runs for San Diego’s Double-A affiliate in 2016.
Quintana, who is only 24, could eventually bring his power to Comerica Park as a potential bench bat.
According to a tweet from Baseball America’s Matt Eddy, Detroit has added yet another third baseman with upside.
Detroit is no stranger to finding diamonds in the rough on the open market.
Hardy owns a career 3.30 FIP in 126 relief innings for Detroit.
Additionally, Alburquerque turned in a 3.21 ERA and 11 strikeouts per nine innings as a member of the Tigers bullpen.
Potential Future Role with the Detroit Tigers
Almanzar’s ability to play both third base and first base could help him in potentially claiming a bench role in Detroit down the line.
The 27-year-old played in 118 games for Baltimore’s Triple-A affiliate last season. All told, he notched 42 runs scored, 41 RBI and 35 extra-base hits.
Additionally, the infielder batted .241 with a .677 OPS.
In nine minor league seasons, Almanzar is a .245 hitter. His career OPS sits at .663.
If the minor league veteran can continue to display the pop he showed at the minors’ highest level, he could eventually challenge for a spot on the Tigers roster.