After missing the first 96 games of the season following spring training wrist surgery Sam Fuld is off the disabled list and back on the Rays’ active roster.
Fuld gained cult hero status during his hot start last season, but then slumped badly down the stretch and was slated for a part-time role this year before the injury.
He’s an excellent defensive outfielder with plus speed and good on-base skills, but has hit just .244 with four homers and a .355 slugging percentage in 501 career plate appearances.
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.