The Detroit Tigers have signed infielder Pete Kozma to a minor league contract, according to SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. Terms of the contract have not yet been released.
Kozma, a former first round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2007, played 39 games with the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers last season. He hit .111/.200/.178 in 51 plate appearances. For his career, Kozma is a .215/.282/.285 hitter with four home runs in 740 plate appearances. One of those homers came against the Tigers last season.
Kozma spent six years with the Cardinals, and is best known for his heroics during the 2012 postseason. He was also involved in the infamous infield fly rule called during the 2011 NL Wild Card Game against the Atlanta Braves.
Why this matters: The Tigers needed another infielder on their roster after trading Ian Kinsler to the Los Angeles Angels last month. Kozma can play multiple positions, and will likely serve in a utility role. Even if Kozma makes the team in spring training, he likely won’t usurp Dixon Machado as the Opening Day starter at second base.
Why it’s not that exciting: Kozma’s career numbers speak for themselves. While they aren’t all that different from other potential additions — like Arismendy Alcantara, for instance — he is entering his age-30 season in 2018 and doesn’t offer the type of upside a younger player might. He’s also very unlikely to hit well enough to be flipped to a contender at the trade deadline for a low-level prospect.