It wasn’t exactly standing room only, but let the record reflect that 17,891 souls showed up for the Rays’ playoff clinching game last night. I don’t have the energy to go back into yesterday’s What Does This Mean discussion, but I figured people should know.
And no, this is not an epic fail in light of the Rays 20,000 ticket giveaway. That’s for tonight’s game, not last night’s. Of course, if they still draw only 17K tonight, OK, we’ll talk.
Free agent first baseman Edwin Espinal has signed a minor league deal with the Tigers, the infielder announced Saturday. The move has yet to be confirmed by the team.
Espinal, 23, capped a seven-year run with the Pirates’ minor league affiliates in 2017. He split his season between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, batting a cumulative .294/.327/.447 with 15 home runs and 31 doubles in 532 plate appearances. While he’s raked at nearly every level so far, he also profiles well on defense, and rounded off his 2017 performance with a perfect fielding percentage, 208 putouts and a Gold Glove award.
Espinal is untested at the major league level and it’s not yet clear if he’ll make the jump in 2018. He showed some positional versatility during his time in the minors, however, and could take reps at third base or DH if necessary. The Tigers are reportedly on the lookout for pitching depth and left-handed bats — two bills the right-handed Espinal doesn’t fit — and presumably have a lot of moves left to make this winter.