Tigers sign Omir Santos at catching insurance
What Dane Sardinha was to the Tigers in 2008 and 2009, and what Robinzon Diaz was meant to be last year, Omir Santos is expected to be next season. The Tigers signed the 29-year-old catcher to a minor-league contract to serve as insurance for Alex Avila and Victor Martinez.
Santos is best known for a good stint of playing time behind the plate for the Mets in 2009. He batted .260 in 96 games that season with 14 doubles, seven home runs and 40 RBIs. He played just 27 games this past season between Triple-A Buffalo and Double-A Binghamton, batting a combined .160 with a home run and 10 RBIs in 94 at-bats.
Again, it’s insurance. Avila and Martinez were the only catchers on Detroit’s roster, unless you count emergency backstops Ryan Raburn and Brandon Inge. Once rosters expanded in September, the Tigers’ third catcher was Max St. Pierre, who earned his first Major League stint after 14 minor league seasons. They’re starting to develop some more young catchers in the system, and team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski says it’s probably the best catching development they’ve had since he took over, but that young talent is currently in the lower levels.