Avila, the son of Tigers general manager Alex Avila, spent the 2016 season with the White Sox after seven years with the Tigers. He returns to Detroit as a left-handed complement to starting catcher James McCann, providing an upgrade over John Hicks.
Avila, 29, hit .213/.359/.373 with seven homers in 57 games for the ChiSox last season after signing a 1-year deal last November. Much was made about the Tigers parting ways with Avila after his father replaced Dave Dombrowski as the club’s lead executive last August, but the pair will reunite for at least one more season in Detroit.
Avila owns a career .240/.346/.395 line with 73 homers in eight major-league seasons. He was an All-Star for the Tigers in 2011, but has regressed at least partly due to injury issues over the past few years.