Veteran Wilson highlights Tigers' non-roster invitees
Detroit — Among the Tigers expected non-roster invitees — right-handed pitchers Joel Hanrahan and Luke Putkonen, left-hander Joe Mantiply, and two hard-throwing Dominican-born right-handers Alberto Cabrera and Rafael Dolis — were a couple of intriguing surprises.
With Don Kelly out of the organization (he signed with the Marlins), the Tigers will take a look at 33-year-old journeyman infielder Josh Wilson. He has played with nine teams in seven Major League seasons, finishing last year with Texas.
Though he's never hit much (.226), he can play second, short and third and has a career fielding percentage of .955.
The Tigers have also signed former Brewer Josh Prince to a minor-league contract. He is 26, a third-round pick of the Brewers in 2009 and can play third base and outfield.
He has some speed. He stole 209 bases in 611 minor league games over six seasons. He hasn't hit much (.249 batting average, .338 on-base percentage), but he has shown some power of late. He's hit 23 of his 30 career minor league homers in the last three seasons.
The Tigers also have extended invitations to a couple of former prospects who had washed out with their previous organizations:
■ Right-handed pitcher Tim Melville, 25, who never rose about Double A in four years with Kansas City.
■ Left-handed pitcher Omar Duran, 24, who never rose above Double A in seven years with Oakland but did strike out 375 hitters in 278.2 innings.
■ Left fielder Xavier Avery, 25, a second-round pick of the Orioles hasn't been in the major leagues since 2012. But he is coming off a big year at Triple-A Tacoma (Seattle) where he hit .275 with 10 home runs and 31 stolen bases. He had 200 steals in seven minor league seasons.
The Tigers also invited two catchers with limited major-league experience — Miguel Gonzalez, 24, who played five games for the White Sox in 2013, and Manny Pina, 27, who played briefly for the Royals in 2011 and 2012.
Here are the rest of the Tigers' spring training invitees:
■Catchers: Austin Green (24, hit 15 homers with 53 RBI at Class A Lakeland last year) and Grayson Greiner (22, Tigers third round pick out of South Carolina last year hit .322 at West Michigan)
■Infielders: Jordan Lennerton (28, first baseman, hit 10 home runs with 53 RBI at Toledo last season), Jefry Marte (23, third baseman, never advanced about Double A in seven seasons with Mets and A's), Aaron Westlake (26, first baseman, hit 15 homers with 49 RBI at Double-A Erie last year)
■Outfielder: Jason Krizan (25, Tigers eighth round pick in 2011, hit .293 with a .778 OPS at Erie last year).
The Tigers also have signed right-handed pitcher Thad Weber to a minor-league contract. Weber, 30, a Tigers' draftee in 2008, spent last season in Korea, posting a 9-6 record in 23 starts, with a. 4.58 ERA and 1.475 WHIP.
He pitched in two games with the Tigers in 2012 and saw brief action for both the Padres and Blue Jays in 2013.