Tigers sign Jordy Mercer, expect him to provide stability, leadership

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News
Jordy Mercer celebrates after hitting a home run in the sixth inning against the Padres during the game at PNC Park on May 20, 2018.

Detroit — The physical has been taken and passed, the I's and T's have all be dotted and crossed on the contract.

Jordy Mercer is officially the Detroit Tigers' shortstop, at least heading into the 2019 season. 

The Tigers made the deal official. It is for one year and $5.25 million. 

“One of our priorities this off-season was to sign a shortstop, and Jordy is a solid addition to our ball club,” general manager Al Avila said in a statement. “He was one of the players we targeted heading into the off-season, and we’re really drawn to his consistency, both on the field at a premium position. and in the clubhouse as a player that is a true veteran leader.”

More: Ex-Tigers broadcaster Rod Allen thanks fans, disputes media reports

More: McCosky: A big-league manager's role is as vital as ever

Mercer, who spent the last seven seasons with the Pirates, is 32 and was limited to 117 games last season by a hand injury sustained in August.

Still, he slashed .251/.315/.381, scoring 43 runs and hitting a career-high 29 doubles.

Although his defensive range and metrics have slipped some (minus-19 defensive runs save over the last three seasons), he has a strong arm and ranked sixth among shortstops in the National League last year with a .977 fielding percentage.

With Mercer in the fold, the Tigers' 40-man roster is presently full.                   

Around the horn

... Former Tigers catcher James McCann agreed to a one-year deal for $2.5 million with American League Central Division-rival White Sox. 

... Also Friday, the Padres and former Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler agreed on a two-year, $8-million contract, according to multiple reports.

... The Tigers traded outfielder Tyler Hill, whom they took in the minor-league Rule 5 draft Thursday, to the Yankees for cash considerations. 


Twitter: @cmccosky