On Monday, the Detroit Tigers made a series of moves that added depth to their competition in Spring Training. Also, there is a report circling that shortstop Jose Iglesias’ days in the Motor City may be numbered.
Tigers sign catcher, Brayan Pena to Minor League Deal
Here’s a familiar face we all know. The Tigers signed catcher Brayan Pena to a Minor League deal. This adds catching depth for Spring Training, and should he make the team would bring good veteran leadership to the clubhouse.
Source: Tigers sign veteran catcher Brayan Pena to a minor-league deal. He spent 2013 with Detroit.
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) January 8, 2018
Pena spent 2013 with the Tigers in a backup role to then catcher Alex Avila. In 229 at-bats with the club in 2013, Pena hit .297/.315/.397, 4 home runs, and 22 RBI. He was a very serviceable backup and could serve the team well, should he come North with them from Lakeland. A long shot, but in 2018 for Detroit, not entirely out of the question.
Tigers sign LHP Liarvis Breto to Minor League deal
Call this another depth move, but Emily Waldon is reporting the Tigers signing a career minor leaguer to add depth in the system. In eight minor league and independent seasons, Breto carries a 3.63 ERA in 221 innings pitched. A career reliever who has put together a 1.28 ERA in 13 innings pitched in the Venezuelan Winter League.
— emilycwaldon (@EmilyCWaldon) January 8, 2018
Jose Iglesias may not be a Tiger for long
And yet, the trade train rolls on. Though there is truly no market for a great gloved, light batting shortstop, eventually there could be. According to John Paul Morosi of MLB Network,
“#Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias remains available via trade, source says; one option is for Detroit to retain him through the start of spring training and evaluate market then…”
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 8, 2018
Of course, this fits the narrative Al Avila gave on 97.1 The Ticket this week when he discussed Iglesias’ future with the club. He said,
“We’ve talked about it on a regular basis…He’s one of those guys that, quite frankly, probably will not be with us in the long run. We have to make sure that we develop a good shortstop in our system for our future.”
Given Iglesias’ age, low-cost arbitration contract — he’s projected to make $5.6 million this season — and considering he’s a free agent after this season, it will be a major surprise if Iglesias is manning shortstop for the Tigers after July this season.