The Detroit Tigers have signed free-agent shortstop Jordy Mercer, a major-league source has confirmed.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network, who was first to report the two sides were making progress on a deal, hears that it’s a one-year deal. Jon Heyman of FanCred adds that Mercer gets $5.25M, plus an additional $250K in potential incentives.
Mercer, who made his major-league debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012, has spent seven years in the majors, all of which were with the Pirates. His path to the majors took a while; he wasn’t even drafted by Pittsburgh originally. Instead, the Los Angeles Dodgers took him with their selection in the 26th round of the 2005 MLB Draft. Mercer decided to not sign with the Dodgers and go to to college, which is where he was until the Pirates took him with their third-round selection in the 2008 draft. This time, Mercer signed, and he stayed with the Pirates over the decade.
Although the Tigers aren’t playoff contenders yet, they have to field a team. So, they will take a chance with Mercer and, if they like how things turn out, consider bringing him back for seasons to come.
Mercer has never been an All-Star, but he’s still a good ballplayer. There hasn’t been a season where Mercer played in less than 100 games since his first year in the majors.
Having played in 821 career games, Mercer has a good chance to reach 1,000 games by the end of the 2020 season.
Through 117 games last season, Mercer slashed .251/.315/.381, his worst line since 2015. He knocked in 39 runs while falling just short of 100 hits (he had 99). He slugged just six home runs while striking out 87 times and walking 32.
Mercer will have big shoes to fill next season; he is replacing Jose Iglesias, who did have his ups and downs, but had a very successful stint with Detroit.