The Tigers signed right-hander Alberto Alburquerque to a major deal, they announced on Twitter late Friday.
Alburquerque was the subject of several teams' interest, Mark Anderson of TigsTown reported, thus why he required the spot on the 40-man roster.
On first glance at his career you may think "Who cares?" Indeed. However, there is certainly potential to be found in his stats. He walks a few too many (don't they all?) but he also struck out 20 to 30 percent of batters he faced in 2009 and 2010. His fielding independent pitching also remained beneath 4.00 during those years, bottoming out at 2.63 in 2009 in Double A. (FirstInning.com stats) In 2008, he had shoulder surgery.
SB Nation site Purple Row linked to Inside the Rockies for this report in 2009. Al Al has a plus fastball, a power slider and a changeup, Jack Etkin wrote at that link, however:
Injuries have plagued Alburquerque, a right-hander who missed the entire 2008 season after undergoing shoulder surgery in April 2008. He was on the disabled list twice in 2007, first with a shoulder strain for a month early in the season and then with an elbow strain in late August. And he missed the 2005 season with an elbow problem that resulted in Tommy John surgery.
Yes, I said Al Al. It's too hard to try to spell his name right without making a typo or thinking too hard.
Of course, Al Al hasn't pitched above Double A, so you can't project major league success instantly for the 24-year-old. (He turns 25 during next season). But I suspect the cost wasn't too high. This is probably a nice little move that could pay off, and if it doesn't won't cost the team much.
Maybe a more appropriate nickname would be Bugs Bunny?