6:28pm: The Tigers have now formally announced the signings.
6:22pm: The Tigers have signed right-hander Jacob Turner to a minor league deal, as first noted on Roster Roundup (Twitter link). Evan Woodberry of MLive.com writes that he’s likely headed for Triple-A Toledo and adds that the Tigers have also picked up left-handed reliever Hunter Cervenka on a minor league pact.
Now 27 years of age, Turner was once the ninth overall pick in the draft by the Tigers (2009) but has yet to cement himself in the big leagues. He went from Detroit to Miami in the trade that sent Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante to the Tigers, but he’s never made more than 20 starts or topped 118 innings in any big league season.
Since being cut loose by the Marlins in 2014, Turner spent time with the Cubs, White Sox and Nationals before returning to the Miami organization to open the 2018 season. He was released after tossing just 5 2/3 innings in the Majors and 21 2/3 frames in Triple-A, though. Now, after a second stint with Miami, he’s back for a second stint in the Tigers organization, where he’ll serve as rotation depth in the upper minors. Turner owns an unsightly 5.26 ERA with 5.8 K/9 against 3.5 BB/9 in 368 big league innings, but he has a more palatable 4.27 ERA and slightly better K/BB numbers in a near-identical sample of 358 Triple-A innings.
As for Cervenka, the former Marlins and Braves lefty has a 4.69 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 48 MLB innings, but he’s also issued 36 walks and hit three batters in that time. That’s been the norm for the 28-year-old throughout the upper minors as well, where he’s averaged nearly 11 punchouts per nine innings pitched but also averaged more than six walks in that time. Cervenka had been with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League prior to his signing, and to his credit, he dominated the indy scene. In 17 2/3 innings, Cervenka allowed three runs on nine hits with a 21-to-2 K/BB ratio.