Tigers ink G. Garcia, Núñez to Minors deals

February 10th, 2021

The Tigers added to their bench options on Wednesday by agreeing to terms with infielders and on Minor League contracts with a non-roster invite for Spring Training.

The 31-year-old Garcia has the skill set that new manager A.J. Hinch has been seeking in recent signings, combining positional versatility with a left-handed bat, though he’s coming off a down year in San Diego.

Núñez spent the past three seasons with the Orioles, batting .253/.319/.464 with 50 homers and 141 RBIs. In 2019, the 26-year-old broke out with a career-high 31 homers and 90 RBIs.

Garcia batted .200 with three doubles, 11 RBIs and a .529 OPS for the Padres as they played their way to their first postseason berth since 2006. He started six games at second base and two others at third, and also an appearance in left field. He has played primarily at second, third and short in his seven-year big league career, but has also appeared at first and left. He also pitched an inning for the Cardinals in 2018.

Garcia is a .256 career hitter off right-handers with a .719 OPS, including 12 of his 14 career home runs, compared with a .179 average and .531 OPS off lefties.

Garcia becomes the 16th non-roster invitee to big league camp, a list that includes top prospects Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene. That list could grow in the dwindling days before Spring Training begins as the Tigers continue eyeing options for first base and pitching depth.