Tigers ink Cuban infielder Luis Valdes to a minor league deal

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Philadelphia Phillies
Mar 29, 2015; Clearwater, FL, USA; A general view of a Detroit Tigers hat, glove and sunglasses in the dugout against the Philadelphia Phillies at Bright House Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

TheĀ Detroit Tigers made a rare international signing on Wednesday, one that should immediately help the middle infield depth in the minors. They have agreed to terms with Cuban infielder Luis Valdes.

Overall in seven professional seasons in Cuba, Valdes posted a career .275/.316/.392 slash line. He doesn’t showcase much power, only 24 home runs in those seven seasons. But he’s almost always going to put the ball in play. In 1,162 official at-bats, Valdes has struck out just 132 times, or a little more than 11 percent of the time. He’s also only drawn 65 base on balls.

The defense is something that can be an area of improvement for Valdes. As Emily Waldon points out, all but six games he’s played at the shortstop position. However, he’s registered just a .968 fielding percentage at that position.