The Tigers have agreed to a minor league contract with veteran outfielder Matt den Dekker, Evan Woodberry of MLive.com tweets. The 29-year-old den Dekker will report to Triple-A Toledo.
[Related: Updated Tigers depth chart]
den Dekker has spent time in the Majors in each of the past four seasons, logging 237 plate appearances for the Mets in 2013-14 before tallying 149 PAs on the other side of the division rivalry with the Nationals from 2015-16. In that time, he’s recorded a .236/.318/.359 batting line with seven homers and a dozen stolen bases. Capable of playing all three outfield spots, den Dekker has received positive overall grades from Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone Rating.
As for the 2017 season, den Dekker once again opened the year in the NL East, reporting to the Marlins’ Triple-A affiliate in New Orleans after failing to make the club out of Spring Training. MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro recently reported that he’d exercised an opt-out clause after hitting .247/.280/.481 with three homers, seven doubles and a triple through 82 PAs with New Orleans.
With the return of J.D. Martinez from the disabled list, there’s one less spot in the Tigers’ Major League outfield. Both Martinez and Justin Upton are locked into the outfield corners, though center field is murkier. Mikie Mahtook has struggled at the plate all season (.184/.262/.316), while Andrew Romine has moved to center field out of necessity but cooled after a slow start (.230/.302/.391). Tyler Collins, too, is capable of playing center field but has batted just .226/.294/.323. JaCoby Jones, meanwhile, was demoted to Triple-A earlier this year and is currently hitting .250/.344/.375 in Toledo.
Keep Romine darn it.
More than anything, the Tigers need to DFA Francisco Rodriguez, Anibal Sanchez and acquire a high range defensive CF. It doesn’t matter if he hits because the rest of the team supposedly can. The SP staff is absolutely paying for the nonsense the Tigers are trotting out in CF. I thought Leonys Martin could fill the gap until a better option appears. Well, it seems that Matt den Dekker can play CF and can steal bases. Lets hope he can fill the need.
DFA Sanchez Krod and Tyler Collins
Collins is horrible, and Mahtook is too.
Mikie Mahtook looks like he could be much better. The Tigers should send him down where he can play everyday and figure out hitting.
Tyler Mad Finger Collins should be cut..
Maybe Collins isnt so bad after Wednesdays game?