The Tigers have re-signed right-hander Trey Wingenter to a minor league deal with an invite to major league Spring Training, reports Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press. The righty will make a base salary of $1.2MM if he cracks the roster.
Wingenter, 30 in April, has shown big strikeout stuff in his career but also battled injuries, with those storylines carrying into 2023. He signed a minor league deal with the Tigers last winter as well and cracked the club’s Opening Day roster. But after just six appearances, he landed on the injured list due to tendinitis in his throwing shoulder and wasn’t activated until about three months later.
He ultimately tossed 17 innings for the Tigers with a 5.82 earned run average in that small sample. He struck out 28.9% of batters faced while walking just 9.2%, and he also kept 43.2% of balls in play on the ground. A .333 batting average on balls in play and 64.7% strand rate led to some more runs crossing the board, hence his 3.96 FIP and 3.43 SIERA. He was outrighted off the roster in November and elected free agency.
Prior to the 2023 season, Wingenter didn’t pitch in the majors at all from 2020-2022, due to Tommy John surgery and a couple of of back surgeries. Prior to that, he pitched for the Padres, striking out roughly a third of batters faced in 2018 and 2019.
He’ll now returns to the Tigers and provide them with some non-roster depth. If he’s healthy and in good form, he could earn himself a roster spot, just as he did in 2023. If he does, he still has an option remaining and just over four years of service time. If he’s on the roster at the end of next season, the Tigers will have the ability to retain him via arbitration for 2025.