Tigers take chance on P Aumont, former first-round pick

Chris McCosky

The Tigers often take fliers on veteran players fighting to find their way back to the big leagues — but Detroit more often than not, those players come from warmer climates. 

This time they’ve gone north of the border.

The Tigers have agreed to terms on a minor-league deal with Canadian-born right-handed pitcher, and former first-round draft pick, Phillippe Aumont.

Aumont, who will be 29 in January, pitched for his hometown Ottawa in the Independent Canadian-American League last season. It was the Ottawa team that announced that his contract had been sold to the Tigers.

The Tigers are not yet confirming any deal.

It’s been an interesting journey for Aumont, who is an imposing 6-7, 245 pounds. He was the 11th overall pick in the 2007 draft by the Mariners, but was traded to the Phillies in a deal involving Cliff Lee in 2009. He pitched parts of four seasons for the Phillies (2012-2015) and faltered — 1-6, 6.80 ERA.

After the Phillies released him in 2015, he bounced around in the Blue Jays and White Sox organizations before going home to play in the Independent League.

He has toggled from starting to bullpen roles throughout his career, but since leaving the Phillies has been a starter. He was 5-8 with a 4.51 ERA and 1.36 WHIP in 17 starts last season. He also pitched a no-hitter against a team from the Dominican Republic.

He features a mid-90s fastball with a power curve ball. He has fought command and consistency throughout his career. In his four big-league seasons he averaged 8.7 strikeouts per nine innings and 7.0 walks per nine. In his minor-league career, he’s averaged 5.8 walks and 9.9 strikeout per nine innings.

It is doubtful Aumont will be invited to the Tigers big-league camp this spring. It appears his signing was to add pitching depth at the Triple-A level.