The Tigers announced on Friday that they’ve signed catcher Bryan Holaday to a minor league contract. With the new contract, the 29-year-old Lagardere Sports client will return to the organization with which he spent the first six seasons of his pro career.
Holaday also spent the bulk of 2016 Spring Training with the Tigers, but as an out-of-options player he ultimately found himself traded to the Rangers. He’d go on to split the ’16 season between Texas and Boston, hitting a combined .231/.281/.359 in 129 plate appearances over the life of 44 games. That production bears a striking resemblance to the lifetime .245/.282/.346 batting line that Holaday has accumulated across 411 plate appearances in parts of five Major League seasons.
This past offseason, Holaday inked a minor league pact with the Phillies, but he exercised his opt-out clause earlier this week when Philadelphia elected to name young Andrew Knapp as the backup to Cameron Rupp.
The Tigers will send Holaday to Triple-A Toledo to start the season, as they’ll go with James McCann and Alex Avila as their primary catching tandem to open the season. Holaday, though, will give them a familiar face to serve as a depth option in the event of an injury to either McCann or Avila.