While the Tigers continue to express interest in a trade for Atlanta’s Martin Prado, they have identified a Plan B. According to Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, it’s Maicer Izturis of the Angels.
The Tigers are currently looking for upgrades at second base, third base and the leadoff spot, so while Izturis isn’t quite on the level of Prado, he at least has experience in those areas.
Izturis, 31, batted .276/.334/.388 with five home runs, 38 RBI, nine stolen bases and a .722 OPS over 494 plate appearances this season while splitting time between second base, third base and shortstop. The switch-hitter is owed $3.8 million in 2012 in the final year of a three-year, $10 million contract.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.