Tigers sign Eric Patterson to minor-league deal
Add another bit of speed infusion to the Tigers’ training camp. Detroit has signed second baseman/outfielder Eric Patterson to a minor-league contract with an invite to spring training. Matt Eddy of Baseball America first reported the deal on Twitter.
The Tigers will be the fifth organization in as many years for Patterson, who has bounced between the Padres, Red Sox, A’s and Cubs since 2008. But he has seen playing time in the big leagues at each stop, including 47 games and 103 plate appearances with the Padres last year.
At no point, however, has he been a big offensive option. Only once in that stretch has he hit better than .214 in the big leagues, and he batted .180 (16-for-89) for the Padres last year with two doubles, a triple, two homers and eight RBIs. He does, however, draw a good number of walks.
Patterson, who turns 29 in April, has been a stronger option at Triple-A, though he struggled there in limited time last year. He hit .307 with 29 doubles, 11 triples, 12 homers, 56 RBIs and 52 walks in 2009 for Triple-A Sacramento, good for an .870 OPS. He batted .253 for Triple-A Tucson last year in 51 games with 12 doubles, four triples, three homers and 14 RBIs.
The depth signing is an indication the Tigers are just about set at second base with Ramon Santiago and Ryan Raburn. They could still change course if something comes up, but right now that would be a surprise.