Detroit Tigers Sign Utility Man Mike Aviles to One-Year Deal


The Detroit Tigers have signed utility player Mike Aviles to a one-year contract. Aviles can play all over the infield plus left field.

The Detroit Tigers announced on Friday night that they had signed utility player Mike Aviles to a one-year contract. Terms of the deal have not yet been made known. Aviles had spent the previous three seasons with the Cleveland Indians.

Aviles has spent the majority of his career playing all over the infield — second base, third base, and a lot of shortstop — but he’s also seen a handful of innings in all three outfield positions as well (mostly left).

A right-handed hitter, Aviles seems to fit into the Tigers’ roster plans as a platoon left fielder and additional infield depth. He’s probably not the fielder Andrew Romine is in the infield (though his shortstop metrics are pretty good) and wouldn’t provide a platoon advantage over the likes of Ian Kinsler, Jose Iglesias, or Nick Castellanos, so his infield starting opportunities appear limited.

RELATED: Detroit Tigers All-Time 25-man Roster

Aviles has struggles at the plate recently (he hit just .231/.282/.317 last season), but he carries a career 94 wRC+ against left-handed pitchers, so he won’t kill you in a platoon role (and provides additional hitting value above Tyler Collins or Anthony Gose against lefties). We should assume this is a budget left-field signing that gives the Tigers some additional positional flexibility.

Aviles made national news last year when he hit the family leave list to be with his amazing daughter who has been battling leukemia. It’s one of those stories that reminds us that ball players are more than a list of statistics.

More from Detroit Jock City

Kyle Lobstein still had a couple of option years remaining, so it’s a bit curious that the Tigers would decide to jettison him now rather than keeping him for emergency starting pitching depth. Catcher Bryan Holaday is out of options and appears to have lost his roster spot to Jarrod Saltalamacchia, but perhaps the Tigers want Holaday as an extra catcher to help them get through spring training.