Detroit Tigers sign former Yankees castaway as fantastic buy-low candidate

The Detroit Tigers have made a move to strengthen their offense, signing Gio Urshela to a one-year deal. Urshela spent the 2023 season with the Los Angeles Angels.

Chicago Cubs v Los Angeles Angels
Chicago Cubs v Los Angeles Angels / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

The Detroit Tigers have been busy this offseason, signing key players such as Mark Canha, Shelby Miller, Jack Flaherty, Kenta Maeda, and Andrew Chafin.

Today, they added another frugal piece, signing utility infielder Gio Urshela to a one-year, $1.5 million contract.

Urshela was limited to just 62 games last season with the Los Angeles Angels, but he hit .299 with two home runs and 24 RBI.

The 32-year-old has spent most of his career with the New York Yankees. His best season with the Bronx Bombers came in 2019 when he hit .314 with 21 homers and 74 RBI.

Jeff Passan of ESPN was first with the news.

Tigers sign former Yankees utilityman

Detroit is ultimately getting Urshela at a good price. What makes him so valuable is his ability to play multiple positions on the infield, as Passan notes.

His ability to hit left-handers also is something that the Tigers were looking for. Urshela had received interest from the Boston Red Sox as well as other teams, but Detroit won out in the end.

But this is a solid buy-low move and could turn out to be a low-risk, high-reward type deal. Urshela missed most of last season with a broken pelvis.

If he can regain his old form, Urshela can provide power from the right side of the plate, as well as veteran leadership in the Tigers young clubhouse.

Detroit took a major step forward in 2023, winning 78 games on the heels of a 96-loss campaign in 2022. They also finished in second place in the AL Central behind the division champion Minnesota Twins.

Detroit has made some key improvements to their roster and could be a team worth paying attention to in 2024 as they try to take another step towards relevance. They last reached the postseason in 2014.

The key for Urshela will be to stay healthy, as the Tigers will need his production if they want to take another step forward.