Detroit Tigers Sign David Lough to a Minor League Deal

The Detroit Tigers have reportedly added extra outfield depth by signing David Lough to a minor league deal.

According to Jerry Crasnick of, the Detroit Tigers have signed outfielder David Lough to a minor league deal. With Spring Training now in sight, the left-handed swinging Lough could give Detroit a bit more outfield depth.

Through parts of five seasons with the Kansas City Royals, Baltimore Orioles and Philadelphia Phillies, Lough has slashed .254/.300/.371 (83 OPS+) with 13 home runs over 342 games. In 2016, Lough did appear in 30 games with the Phillies, but he spent the majority of his season in the Phillies’ and Miami Marlins‘ minor league systems. During his time in the big leagues last year, Lough slashed .239/.342/.313 (79 OPS+) with zero home runs.

In the not-so-distant past, however, Lough has been able to provide a useful bat. Back in 2013, when he was with the Royals, Lough slashed a relatively solid .286/.311/.413 (96 OPS+) with five homers through 96 games and finished eighth in the AL Rookie of the Year Voting. The following year, when he was with the Orioles, Lough had a hot second half, hitting .351/.387/.544 across 64 plate appearances.

The Tigers are still looking for a solution in center field, and it appears possible that Lough may be able to help in this department. During the time he has logged in the big leagues, Lough has appeared in 61 games in center field (starting in 35), but he has seen more time as a corner outfielder.

With Cameron Maybin no longer in Detroit, current in-house solutions for the center field problem include Mikie Mahtook, Tyler Collins and prospect JaCoby Jones. Mahtook, who was recently acquired in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays, appeared in only 65 games last season and hit just .195/.231/.292 with three home runs. However, the former first-round pick had a strong rookie season in 2015, hitting .295/.351/.619 with nine homers and 19 RBI through 41 games.

Collins has spent parts of the last three seasons with the Tigers. He has hit .253/.309/.401 with nine homers over that time period. Jones was acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the summer of 2015 and made his major league debut last season.

Though Anthony Gose was recently designated for assignment, the Detroit Free Press reported that he had cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Toledo. While it may be a long shot, Gose, who appeared in 140 games with the Tigers in 2015, could present yet another option in center field.

When it comes to the corner outfield spots, the Tigers are clearly set at those positions as well, with Justin Upton and J.D. Martinez manning left and right field, respectively. That said, Lough could potentially serve as a valuable bench bat or an insurance policy in the minor leagues in case of an injury.

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