It remains to be seen what sort of moves the Detroit Tigers will make this offseason. Team general manager Al Avila said back in October that the team was going to play the role of “bargain hunters” on the open market, hinting at more low-key signings.
On Saturday, the team formally announced deals with five players, one of which includes a reliever on the 40-man roster who was eligible for arbitration this offseason.
The Tigers have agreed to terms on a 1-year contract w/ LHP Blaine Hardy, thus avoiding arbitration and have signed RHP's Kevin Comer & Mark Montgomery, INF Niko Goodrum & OF/1B Chad Huffman to Minor League contracts for 2018 w/ invites to Major League Spring Training. pic.twitter.com/vMcVTq84ED
— Tigers PR (@DetroitTigersPR) November 25, 2017
Lefty reliever Blaine Hardy is one of seven current Tigers that was arbitration-eligible this winter. Hardy has spent parts of the last four seasons with Detroit. In total, he's logged a 3.62 ERA in 164 appearances out of the bullpen. Last season, however, was by far his worst as a big leaguer, posting an ERA close to 6.00 in just 35 appearances with the Tigers.
Hardy figures to be a key player in the bullpen for Detroit in 2018. However, with one option remaining, he could freely be sent between the majors and minors again next season, should he under-perform and/or the team has more viable options.
Additionally, the team announced minor league deals with four players with invites to spring camp for 2018.
Reliever Mark Montgomery reportedly agreed to terms with the club earlier this month. The 27-year-old former Yankees farmhand was in the New York system through his first six minor league seasons before playing at Triple-A Memphis in the Cardinals' system last season.
Reliever Kevin Comer, 25, is a former first-round selection in 2011 of the Toronto Blue Jays but was traded to the Houston Astros' organization shortly after being drafted. Comer spent the majority of this past season at Triple-A Fresno, compiling a 4.52 ERA in 43 appearances.
Infielder Niko Goodrum, 25, spent the last eight seasons in the Minnesota Twins' system after being drafted out of high school in 2010 as a second-round selection. He spent the entire season at Triple-A Rochester before making his major league debut amidst the Twins' September call-ups. Goodrum has a career .250/.333/.379 slash line.
Outfielder and first baseman Chad Huffman, 32, is a true minor league journeyman. The former second-round pick of San Diego Padres in 2006 has played in five different minor league systems over his career, most recently with the St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals this season. Huffman should be a name somewhat familiar to Tigers fans, he played at Triple-A Toledo in 2016.