Detroit Tigers Sign Ramon Santiago, Omir Santos and Jerad Head
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According to The Detroit News, the 32-year-old Santiago inked a two-year, $4 million contract.
The defensively versatile switch-hitter batted .260 with five home runs and 30 RBI in a backup role for the club in 2011, while scoring 29 runs and whacking 19 extra-base hits.
Though not a base stealer, the quick-footed Santiago is an apt defender, posting a .996 fielding percentage in 75 games at second base last season. He also fielded .983 at shortstop and 1.000 in a handful of games at third base.
Despite his benefits, there are noteworthy knocks against Santiago as well. His .311 on-base percentage last season shows that he does not walk frequently, leading to an unimpressive strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Santiago, a 10-year big league veteran, has spent eight of his seasons with Detroit, interrupted by a two-year stint with the Seattle Mariners. He is a .249 career hitter.
The Dominican Republic native who was seeking more playing time last year will likely be used in a reserve role again in 2012.
Backup catcher Santos, 30, is also returning to the organization on a minor league contract, according to MLive.com.
He spent most of the season in the Tigers’ minor league system, hitting .242 in 51 games. He also had a cup of coffee in the majors, batting .227 in 11 matches.
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The right-hander experienced a breakout season in 2009 with the injury-ravage New York Mets, hitting .260 with seven home runs and 60 RBI in 96 games. However, the Puerto Rican’s big-league prospects diminished following that season, and he has mostly toiled in the minors since.
Though he is sound defensively and has adequate power, Santos lacks both the offensive and defensive skills requisite to be anything more than a backup catcher at the Major League level.
While both Santiago and Santos are organizational returnees, Head arrives to the club completely new on a minor league contract, per MLive.com.
Head, 28, who has spent his entire six-year professional career in division rival Cleveland’s system, is a minor leaguer by profession, who had a cup of coffee with the Indians in 2011, hitting .125 in 24 at-bats.
The left fielder has both excellent power and notable speed, hitting 24 home runs in the minors last season, while swiping 14 bags in 2008.
He is likely going to be minor league filler if he sticks around with the club through 2012.
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