Tigers sign two more minor-league deals
The Tigers added two more minor-league signings Wednesday, announcing deals with right-hander Michael Crotta and outfielder Chad Huffman. Neither deal includes a non-roster invite to Major League camp.
For the Tigers, the deals represent organizational depth for a farm system that didn’t have enough of it last year. For Crotta and Huffman, the deals present a return to the states after both spent the last two seasons playing in Japan.
The 31-year-old Crotta reached the Majors as a reliever with Pittsburgh in 2011 before elbow surgery put his career in transition. The 6-foot-6 hurler posted a 4-5 record with a 2.62 ERA and six saves for the Nippon Ham Fighters in 2014 before struggling to a 2-2 record and 6.59 ERA in 30 games there this past season. He last pitched stateside in 2013, going 6-7 with a 3.57 ERA and four saves for Triple-A Syracuse.
The 30-year-old Huffman is a right-handed hitter who played nine games with the Yankees in 2010 and posted a three-homer, 10-RBI game for Triple-A Columbus in 2011. After batting .282 with 13 homers and 55 RBIs for Memphis in 2013, Huffman signed with the Chiba Lotte Marines. He hit .270 with 20 doubles, four homers and 28 RBIs over 67 games in 2014, but went just 1-for-11 in six games this past season.
The moves mark the third round of minor-league signings the Tigers have announced. They confirmed a half-dozen deals last week, including former Major Leaguers Nate Schierholtz and Logan Kensing on minor-league contracts with Major League invites.