Tigers roll dice on former Twins slugger (source)

Vargas agrees to Minor League deal after stint in Japan

January 28th, 2020

DETROIT -- Thirty years after Cecil Fielder jumped from Japan to the Tigers and powered his way to stardom, will be looking to return to the States with Detroit, albeit on a smaller scale. The former Twins first baseman has agreed to a Minor League contract with the Tigers, a source told MLB.com on Monday.

The deal, which has not been confirmed by the club, does not include an invite to big league camp.

The switch-hitting Vargas, who last played in the Majors in 2017, posted a Tigers logo on his Instagram account after reports out of Puerto Rico mentioned the agreement.

Vargas played for four seasons with the Minnesota Twins, where Ron Gardenhire was his manager during his rookie season of 2014. Vargas batted .252 with 35 home runs, 116 RBIs and a .748 OPS in 236 games with Minnesota before spending the 2018 season at Triple-A Rochester.

The 29-year-old Vargas spent last year in Japan with the Chiba Lotte Marines, batting .179 (15-for-84) with one home run and 23 RBIs in 35 games.

If Vargas can recapture his hitting stroke, he has a chance to give the Tigers organizational depth at first base, where they have no prospects on the doorstep. Detroit signed another former Twin, C.J. Cron, to handle the starting job at the big league level this year. Miguel Cabrera could also get some starts there if his health allows.