The Tigers have reached agreement on a minor-league deal with free-agent Cuban shortstop Luis Valdes, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America. Bonus information isn’t known, but Valdes was not subject to international spending limitations.
Valdes seems to be more of a veteran utility option than an interesting prospect to watch. He’s already 28 years of age and ought to open his tenure with the Tigers in the upper minors, per Badler, but there doesn’t appear to be much reason to believe that he’ll ever challenge for more than a reserve role in the majors.
Over his seven seasons in Cuba’s Serie Nacional, Valdes owns a .275/.316/.392 batting line with 24 home runs over 1,267 plate appearances. Though his last season was by far his best, it also came way back in 2014. Whether his bat can keep up at the game’s highest level isn’t yet clear, Badler suggests, though Valdes holds greater promise in the field. Per Badler, the infielder “is a smart, fundamentally sound defender with an average arm that plays up because of his extremely quick release.”