The Tigers have announced that righty Dario Agrazal and infielder Jordy Mercer have made the Opening Day roster. Their contracts were selected to the 40-man roster. Former top picks Kyle Funkhouser and Beau Burrows both made the roster as well.
Agrazal, 25, was acquired from the Pirates back in November and later outrighted off the 40-man roster. The righty pitched 73 1/3 innings with the Pirates in 2019 but struggled to a 4.91 ERA with 5.0 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 1.84 HR/9 and a 39.9 percent grounder rate. Agrazal doesn’t miss many bats, even in the minors, but he’s averaged well under two walks per nine innings pitched in parts of seven minors league seasons and typically registers a ground-ball rate north of 50 percent. He’s only totaled 64 innings in Triple-A, but he owns a career 3.62 ERA with 5.8 K/9 against 1.3 BB/9 in 608 2/3 total minor league frames.
The veteran Mercer, meanwhile, will return for a second season in Detroit. He spent the ’19 season with the Tigers after signing a one-year deal but was plagued by quadriceps injuries for much of the season, spending multiple stints on the injured list. The signing looked regrettable at the season’s halfway point, but Mercer returned in early July and closed out the year with a sharp .292/.323/.479 slash line to salvage what was looking to be a lost year. The 33-year-old — 34 next month — is a career .257/.316/.388 hitter in parts of eight MLB seasons.
Both Funkhouser and Burrows were at one point first-round picks. Detroit selected Burrows with the No. 22 selection back in 2015, and Funkhouser was a supplemental first-round pick by the Dodgers just 13 spots later in that same draft. Funkhouser, however, didn’t sign and slid to the Tigers in the fourth round a year later. Both showed promise in 2017-18 before ugly 2019 seasons dropped their stock, but they’ll both get their first look in the big leagues to begin the 2020 campaign.