1:14pm: The one-year deal will pay Mercer $5.25MM in guaranteed salary, according to Heyman, with another $250K available in incentives.
12:54pm: The Tigers have reached a deal with free agent shortstop Jordy Mercer, Fancred Sports’ Jon Heyman (Twitter link). The contract is a one-year deal, according to MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi, who reported earlier today that Mercer and the Tigers were in talks. Mercer is represented by the Boras Corporation.
The 32-year-old Mercer will be switching teams for the first time, as he has spent his entire professional career in the Pirates organization since Pittsburgh selected him in the third round of the 2008 draft. Mercer developed into an unspectacular but steady regular for the Bucs at shortstop, generating 7.6 fWAR and hitting .257/.317/.383 with 54 homers over 2928 PA since the start of the 2013 season. Defensively, Mercer’s glovework has dipped below the average threshold over the last three seasons, as per Defensive Runs Saved (-19) and UZR/150 metrics.
Mercer represents just the type of veteran stopgap at shortstop at the Tigers were looking for this winter, as Jose Iglesias was heading into free agency. Youngsters Dawel Lugo, Willi Castro, and Isaac Paredes are all waiting in the wings as Detroit’s potential infielders of the future, so it could be a one-year relationship at most for Mercer and the Tigers. The club could even explore dealing Mercer at the trade deadline depending on how things play out.