Tigers: Al Avila Reunited With Shortstop Jordy Mercer

The Detroit Tigers have brought back shortstop, Jordy Mercer, on a one-year minor league contract. Mercer is reunited with the organization he played for last year after leaving the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The way it stands right now, Niko Goodrum is the starting everyday shortstop for the Detroit Tigers in 2020, but Al Avila seems to want to change that. He decided to bring back shortstop Jordy Mercer back to the organization.

Mercer rejoins the Tigers after spending the 2019 season as the teams’ shortstop. His contract for 2020 is a minor-league contract, but with a strong spring, it sure seems like Mercer will rejoin the Tigers big league roster and platoon at shortstop with Goodrum.

In an ideal world, Goodrum will still play the majority of the games at shortstop; he deserves the chance to prove himself and show improvement as a part of the rebuilding Tigers.

Mercer is entering the 2020 season as a thirty-three-year-old playing in his ninth season in the big leagues. Mercer is a veteran who is poised to see big league time at some point during the season in a depth role or platoon role with Goodrum at shortstop.

In 2019 Mercer played in seventy-four games for the Tigers, totaling 271 plate appearances. Mercer managed a .270/.310/.438 with nine home runs and twenty-two RBI. He was walked thirteen times and struck out fifty-seven times throughout the season.

Mercer was one of the Tigers veteran infielders in 2019, who can hopefully play a similar role this season. Whether he is with the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens or big league roster, Mercer should be able to help some of the younger guys adjust and develop at the big league level.

The main concern with the re-signing of Mercer is that he will start more games than Goodrum at shortstop. Goodrum deserves the chance to be the everyday starter, he may not have the cleanest glove or be true shortstop like Mercer, but fans should want to see Goodrum in the lineup over Mercer.

Regardless, he will start the season with the Mud Hens, but as mentioned above could see a promotion to platoon or provide infield depth. If and when Mercer is called up, he will join a middle infield core that includes, Goodrum, Mercer, Jonathan Schoop, and Harold Castro.

Nonetheless, General Manager Al Avila is reunited with one of his former cheap signings. Mercer is back with the Tigers and will suit up in Toledo and Detroit during the 2020 season. Hopefully, manager Ron Gardenhire sticks to the plan and keeps Goodrum as the starting shortstop.