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Tigers sign OF Mayberry Jr. to minor-league deal

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

The Tigers continue to look for a potential upgrade in left field.

On Wednesday, they settled for some outfield depth when they signed veteran John Mayberry Jr. to a minor-league contract, according to a source with knowledge of the Tigers moves.

Mayberry gets an invitation to spring training.

Mayberry, 32, has played seven seasons in the major leagues, most recently with the New York Mets in 2015.

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In 59 games last season, Mayberry batted .164/.227/.318 with three home runs and nine RBIs.

He started his career with the Phillies, playing parts of six seasons in Philadelphia. His best season was 2011, when he hit .273/.341/.513 with 15 home runs and 49 RBIs in 104 games.

From 2011-13, he averaged 13 homers and 45 RBIs.

He also has played for the Blue Jays.

A right-handed hitter, Mayberry can play all three outfield positions, and can play some first base.

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Mayberry’s father, John, had a fine baseball career of his own, playing 15 seasons, mostly with the Blue Jays and Royals. He was a legend on the fields of Detroit, graduating from Northwestern High before the Astros made him a first-round pick in 1967. He passed up an offer to play at the University of Michigan to sign with the Astros.

The Tigers starting outfield, today, features J.D. Martinez in right, Cameron Maybin in center and Anthony Gose in left, with Tyler Collins and Mike Aviles potential fill-in options, one from the left side and one from the right side.

The Tigers, though, continue to look for a right-handed-hitting option to platoon or more with Anthony Gose.

Former Tiger Ryan Raburn, who destroyed left-handed pitching in 2015 with the Indians, is one guy the Tigers are considering, though the list is longer than just one name.