DETROIT – The Detroit Tigers have reportedly signed former top 15 outfield prospect Nomar Mazara to a one-year major league deal.
MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports the deal is for $1.75 million, with incentives.
Mazara gets $1.75M plus incentives on Tigers MLB deal— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 12, 2021
In five seasons since debuting as a 20-year-old in 2016, Mazara has been a very average MLB hitter, slashing .258/.318/.426 (.744 OPS). He’s established himself as an almost guaranteed 20-homer, 20-25 double per year player.
Mazara will turn 26 in April, so there’s still plenty of potential in his bat. He was the No. 14 overall prospect in baseball and the third-ranked outfield prospect in 2015 before he was called up the following year.
Last season, Mazara got just 149 plate appearances with the Chicago White Sox, partly because of injuries and partly because of roster depth in Chicago.
His role with the Tigers will be one to watch during spring training. Detroit signed left fielder Robbie Grossman to a two-year contract last month, and Victor Reyes and JaCoby Jones will be in the mix, as well.
It’s possible Mazara, a left-handed bat, could platoon with the right-handed Jones. He has a .781 career OPS against right-handed pitchers, compared to a .640 OPS against lefties.
Jones has fairly established reverse splits in his career, though, with a .682 OPS against righties and a .612 OPS against lefties, so it’s not a perfect match.
Detroit also signed Renato Nunez and Greg Garcia to minor league deals, with invitations to MLB spring training.
MLB announced Thursday (Feb. 11) that the Tigers will host the Cleveland Indians on April 1 to open the 2021 season.