Lakeland, Fla. — The Tigers on Saturday signed right-handed reliever Miguel Diaz to a minor-league contract and he is expected to be added to spring training camp roster as soon as he clears his medical evaluations.
Diaz, a 27-year-old native of the Dominican Republic, spent parts of four seasons with the San Diego Padres, compiling a 3-1 record with a 3.64 ERA and 1.190 WHIP in 25 games last season. He had a 2.61 ERA on Aug. 16, but melted down in his next two outings (six runs, three home runs in four innings) and spent the rest of the season in Triple-A.
The Tigers’ bullpen is right-handed heavy, with Gregory Soto the lone lefty expected to make the Opening Day roster (unless Tyler Alexander gets knocked out of the starting rotation).
But Diaz, who features an elite change-up, is stingy against left-handed hitters. He held lefties to a .172 average last season.
Opponents hit just .190 against his change-up, which he throws off a 94-95 mph four-seam fastball.
Diaz can earn $800,000 if he makes the club.
The Tigers will have a light workout Sunday with camp officially opening on Monday. Besides players on the 40-man roster, 17 non-roster players were invited to camp. Here’s the list:
Righthanded pitchers (10): Jacob Barnes, Beau Brieske, Drew Carlton, Garrett Hill, Ty Madden, Ricardo Pinto, Nivaldo Rodriguez, Logan Shore, Dylan Smith and Will Vest.
Catchers (1): Dillon Dingler
Infielders (4): Ryan Kreidler, Josh Lester, Jack Lopez, Spencer Torkelson
Outfielders (2): Riley Greene, Jacob Robson
The first Grapefruit League game is Thursday at Joker Marchant Stadium. Tickets for the nine home games go on sale at 10 a.m. Sunday and are available on Tigers.com.