Tigers sign Josh Wilson to minor-league deal
Baseball America released its roundup of minor-league transactions Sunday morning, which included the previously reported deal for Jordan Lennerton to stay in the Tigers organization. It also included a deal that hadn’t been reported yet: Well-traveled veteran utility infielder Josh Wilson has agreed to a minor-league contract.
A source has since confirmed the deal.
Wilson, who turns 34 in March, has become a journeyman in recent seasons, bouncing around on minor-league contracts. He spent last season with Texas, where he made the Opening Day roster and batted .239 (16-for-67) in 24 games. He spent the rest of the season at Triple-A Round Rock, batting .246 (75-for-305) with five home runs and 33 RBIs in 92 games.
Most fans who remember him will do so for his time in Seattle, where he was the Mariners’ starting shortstop for a good share of the 2010 season.
It’s an interesting signing given the middle infield depth the Tigers enjoyed going into the offseason, but it presumably gives Detroit some of the insurance that they had in previous seasons with Danny Worth. Andrew Romine and Hernan Perez are both on the 40-man roster, but they’re also both out of minor-league options, meaning they’d have to clear waivers to head to Triple-A Toledo. With Eugenio Suarez now a Cincinnati Red and Don Kelly a free agent, that left Dixon Machado as their only depth at the upper levels of the farm system. The Tigers also re-signed longtime farmhand Brandon Douglas to a minor-league deal, though Douglas is primarily a second baseman.
Dave Dombrowski and Al Avila drafted Wilson when they were running the Marlins in 1999. He came up in the Marlins system with Miguel Cabrera and made his big-league debut in Florida in 2005. He grew up in Pittsburgh and is the son of former Duquesne University baseball coach Mike Wilson. If you see Cabrera wearing a Duquesne baseball t-shirt during an interview, it came from Wilson.