Tigers Sign Speedy Outfielder Leonys Martin To One-Year Deal

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MLB.com

The Detroit Tigers got a little bit faster on Tuesday, as they signed free agent outfielder Leonys Martin to a one-year deal worth $1.75 million.

According to MLB.com’s Jason Beck per Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Martin’s deal includes $1.1 million in performance incentives.

Martin, who turns 30 in March, gives the Tigers some much needed depth in the outfield. Prior to his signing, Detroit had just three outfielders with Major League experience on the 40-man roster- Nicholas Castellanos, JaCoby Jones, and Mikie Mahtook.

Known primarily for his speed, Martin is 115 for 151 in career stolen base attempts. His 36 and 31 steals for the Texas Rangers in 2013 and 2014, respectively, were both fifth most in the American League. In addition, his 24 thefts for the Seattle Mariners in 2016 was seventh most.

Martin struggled offensively in 2017. He was designated for assignment- twice- by the Seattle Mariners, after hitting .174 (20 for 115) overall. He was dealt to the Chicago Cubs on the August 31 waiver trade deadline; and despite only 13 at-bats (2 hits), made the Cubs’ NLDS and NLCS rosters, indicating the value that lies within his speed.

Overall, Martin’s a .247/.300/.360 career hitter with 38 homers, 72 doubles, 19 triples, and 176 RBIs. He defected from Cuba in 2010 and made his Major League debut in late 2011 with the Rangers after signing a five-year deal in May of that year.

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A Massachusetts native for life, Seth was born into the love for Boston Sports. He played baseball for eight years growing up and has always been an avid fan of MLB. Other than writing, some of his hobbies include biking, landscaping, dancing, moving furniture, playing basketball, and going to the batting cages. Seth aspires one day to be a PA announcer in the NBA.