More Tigers: Smyly Decision Could Be Costly
Rather than opt out of his current deal, Kelly told reporters that he reached an informal agreement with the Tigers and general manager Dave Dombrowski. If the veteran doesn't make the team's Opening Day roster, the GM will attempt to trade him to another team that can offer a role in the majors. If Dombrowski is unable to do so, then Kelly will accept an assignment to Triple-A.
Kelly opted for this agreement rather than testing the free agent market for several reason. He is familiar with the Tigers' organization, as he was drafted by Detroit and has spent four seasons in the majors with the club. Kelly also notes that the team's Triple-A affiliate is located in Toledo, which is not far from his home in Pittsburgh.
Over 75 games for the Tigers last season, Kelly hit .186/.276/.248 with four extra-base hits in 127 plate appearances, while manning every position other than catcher and shortstop. The 33-year-old owns a career batting line of .232/.283/.344 over parts of five seasons in the majors.