Photo Credit: Detroit Lions

Detroit Tigers sign Gio Urshela in $1.5M deal

Infielder Gio Urshela entered a $1.5 million contract with the Detroit Tigers for one year on Thursday. Scott Harris, Detroit Tigers president of baseball operations, told reporters that Urshela was sought out because “he makes a ton of contact, he hits the ball hard, and he plays above average defense at third base.” The Detroit Tigers are thrilled to add him to the lineup. The eight-year MLB veteran was already in Lakeland, Florida for spring training.

Urshela, 32, played for the Los Angeles Angels last season, hitting .229 with two home runs and 24 RBIs in 62 games according to ESPN. On June 16th, 2023, Urshela fractured his pelvis, effectively taking him out of the season. The injury occurred when he “took an overextended step against the Texas Rangers in the first inning as he was trying to make it to first base and showed some clear discomfort,” as per Sports Illustrated.

As for how this impacts the current Tigers roster, it is not yet certain. “It certainly impacts our team because he does a lot of things well,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said Friday, “He’s a nice player. He can do things on defense. He’s handled the bat very well… We have the next five or six weeks to sort out how it impacts the rest of the roster.” The Tigers want to see how Urshela plays after healing from his injuries before placing him as an everyday player. However, if he hits like he did in 2022, we’ll likely be seeing him on the field far more than a platoon player.

Urshela joins Matt Vierling, Andy Ibáñez, and Zach McKinstry in the running for reps at third base. Vierling was predicted to be the primary third baseman before the addition of Urshela. Hinch is not worried about competition between the players, and he cannot complain about having so many great options. “We added a really good major-league player, and that brings the conversation to the forefront, but I think a lot of these guys felt that coming into camp,” he said.

Spring training is underway, and Urshela is currently training with the Tigers on his first day.


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