Detroit Tigers: Robbie Grossman reunited with A.J. Hinch on two-year deal

(Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)
(Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Tigers have reached an agreement with outfielder Robbie Grossman reuniting him with his former manager.

This offseason has been a slow one across Major League Baseball, not just for the Detroit Tigers. However, they have made their “largest” signing of this offseason in the form of outfielder Robbie Grossman.

The Tigers and Grossman came to terms on a two-year contract that is worth $10 million that carries a $5 million weight in each of the two seasons. All of this was reported on Twitter by Tigers beat writer for The Athletic, Cody Stavenhagen.

Grossman is a 31-year old left fielder who hits from both sides of the plate. The eight-year veteran of the big leagues played for Tigers manager A.J. Hinch in Houston during the 2015 season. It seems to be a case of Hinch getting the guy he has managed and knows that the front office views as a good fit.

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This is one of the Tigers’ first two-year deals in some time, but frankly, it’s a bit frustrating. In terms of on-field performance, Grossman was a 1.2 WAR player in 2020, hitting .241/.344/.482, with eight home runs and 23 total RBI over 51 games for the Oakland Athletics.

He has a career .252/.350/.380 slash where he could average around ten home runs, 15 being the “high hopes” mark.

With the signing of Grossman, it seems like he will join the outfield that is going to get a little crowded on the depth chart in the sense that they will have JaCoby Jones in centerfield, Victor Reyes in rightfield.

Leftfield was slated for Christin Stewart, but he might wind up starting the season over in Triple-A since he has just failed to reach all expectations in the past two seasons. Grossman is going to add another outfielder into the mix.

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It was announced that Daz Cameron was shut down in Puerto Rico after suffering an arm injury that has led him to have discomfort and ultimately sustaining an injury. If he is not healthy and his start of the season somehow gets delayed, he will come out of the crowded outfield group.

The Tigers also have Rule 5 draft choice Akil Baddoo who will not be going anywhere unless the Tigers want to risk losing him and having to return him to the Minnesota Twins. Grossman should slot in as the left fielder who will split time with the other outfielders who are up at the big league level, allowing Baddoo to get some looks.

This signing is frustrating; the organization has areas of the roster that need to be addressed. Instead, the Tigers sign Grossman. Now, please do not mistake me; I think Grossman is a good player and fits well given his ability and the Tigers’ current status in the rebuild.

The issue comes with the fact that they have not decided to add infield depth or a catcher that is actually worth anything. Dustin Garneau is not a solution; he’s going to add more mediocrity behind the dish.

As the offseason continues on and spring ball draws near, the hope should be that the front office addresses some depth questions within the infield one-year deals with free agents left on the market. There is still time, but signing another outfielder is a little frustrating.

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The Detroit Tigers are fine for signing Robbie Grossman, but can they start addressing some of the roster’s other areas on offense?