Just minutes after the Detroit Tigers solidified their status at second base by signing Jonathan Schoop, they added some more beef on the right side of the infield. C.J. Cron, who hit 25 home runs with the Minnesota Twins in 2019, has agreed to a one-year, $6.1 million contract with the Tigers, according to a report from Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press.
Cron, 29, has been a consistent power threat since entering the major leagues in 2014. He hit .262/.307/.449 with 59 home runs in part-time duty across four seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, then made good with an .816 OPS and 30 home runs in a 2018 tour of duty with the Tampa Bay Rays. Despite the career highs in both categories, Cron couldn’t land anything more than a one-year deal with the Twins, where he managed another 25 dingers in 499 plate appearances.
Both Schoop and Cron will be huge additions to a Tigers lineup that has sorely lacked power in recent years. Detroit finished last in the American League in home runs in both 2018 (135 home runs) and 2019 (149). Schoop and Cron combined for 48 home runs in 2019 alone, and both would have led the 2019 Tigers by a wide margin.
Cron’s defense at first base isn’t anything to write home about, though he was worth +3 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) in 2019. He has been a slight negative (-3 DRS) in nearly 4,000 career innings at first base, but his hitting prowess has kept him in the positive overall. Baseball Reference’s defensive metrics like him a little more; he was worth 1.4 rWAR (compared to 0.3 fWAR) in 2019.
Update: To clear roster space for the Schoop and Cron signings, 1B Brandon Dixon has been designated for assignment. The 40-man roster is now full.