Detroit Tigers sign switch-hitting infielder Johan Camargo to minor-league contract

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Tigers signed switch-hitting, multi-positional infielder Johan Camargo to a minor-league contract Friday, adding to their depth.

The 29-year-old has played 416 games over parts of six MLB seasons with the Atlanta Braves (2017-21) and Philadelphia Phillies (2022). He helped the Braves win the World Series in 2021.

The Tigers assigned Camargo to Triple-A Toledo.

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Camargo was released by the Kansas City Royals on June 15 because he exercised the opt-out clause in his contract, and eight days later, he latched on with another team in the American League Central.

He played 15 games for Triple-A Omaha in the Royals’ organization, hitting .298 with four home runs, 11 walks (16.2% walk rate) and 11 strikeouts (16.2% strikeout rate) across 68 plate appearances.

Camargo is a career .255 hitter with 37 home runs, 99 walks (7.4% walk rate) and 280 strikeouts (20.9% strikeout rate) in 416 games. He played a career-high 134 games in 2018 with the Braves, hitting .272 with 19 homers.

Defensively, he has experience playing third base, shortstop, second base, left field, right field and first base. He is an above-average defender at third base and an average defender everywhere else.

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In his MLB career, Camargo has a .250 batting average in 930 plate appearances against right-handed pitchers and a .265 batting average in 409 plate appearances against left-handed pitchers.

He has more power against lefties.

The Braves kept Camargo in Triple-A Gwinnett as infield depth for most of the 2021 season, but he received four plate appearances across four games in the National League Championship against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

He did not play in the 2021 World Series.

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After signing Camargo, the Tigers released utility player Brendon Davis. The 25-year-old, a right-handed hitter, posted a .178 batting average with five home runs, 18 walks and 47 strikeouts in 43 games with Triple-A Toledo this season.

If Camargo joins the 40-man roster, he could be retained by the Tigers for next season through the arbitration process because he won’t have enough service time to become a free agent until after the 2024 campaign. He doesn’t have any minor-league options remaining.

Contact Evan Petzold at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.

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