The Tigers have struck a minor-league deal with 28-year old infielder Alexi Amarista, as reported by Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free-Press. The former Padre will also head to Detroit’s major-league camp for spring training.
Amarista has had a turbulent career to say the least. The veteran slashed .238/.269/.351 across 176 plate appearances as Colorado’s utility man in 2017 after signing a one-year deal with them last January. The Rockies passed on keeping Amarista aboard, declining his $2.5 million club option and instead handing him a $150K buyout.
Even in his best years in San Diego all came with batting averages well below .300, averaging .233 over the five years.
But there has to be a silver lining to this situation, right? Some Boras-like intangible that we’re not quite getting in the numbers? Nope. Even his defensive stats (save for the two times in his career he closed out a game on the mound, garnering him a 0.00 ERA, which is finally a plus) Amarista remains below average. So then what’s the catch?
Despite the anemic offensive numbers that are showing a clear declining pattern, the need for veteran depth in Detroit makes the stats easy to glaze over. The Venezuelan-born player also has experience in six different defensive positions and could potentially lend some brain matter to the youngsters coming through the ranks. Those who can’t do, teach, right?