Tigers demote longtime regular Ryan Raburn to Triple-A

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Ryan Raburn is 31 years old with 1,632 plate appearances and a .750 OPS in the majors, but a brutal start this season has him back at Triple-A.

Detroit decided it had seen enough after Raburn hit just .146 with an ugly 35/8 K/BB ratio in 37 games split between second base and the outfield, demoting the veteran making $2.1 million this season.

Manager Jim Leyland stressed to Jason Beck of MLB.com that “this is not a punishment” for Raburn and added that “we have to try to get him going.”

Beck reports that Ramon Santiago and Danny Worth will likely share second base duties in Raburn’s absence and the Tigers called up journeyman catcher Omir Santos from Triple-A to fill his roster spot.

This isn’t the first time Raburn’s slow start has led to the Tigers sending him to the minors, and in the past he’s generally responded well to the temporary demotions. Or as Raburn put it: “It’s just a matter of getting it going and getting back.”

Report: Tigers sign Jordy Mercer to one-year, $5.25 million deal

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On Wednesday afternoon, the Tigers agreed to a one-year, $5.25 million with shortstop Jordy Mercer, per Fancred’s Jon Heyman.

Mercer, 32, hit .251/.315/.381 with six home runs and 39 RBI in 436 plate appearances for the Pirates last season. His triple-slash line from 2018 is pretty close to his career triple-slash line, so that’s about what the Tigers should expect from him.

Mercer will take over as the full-time shortstop for the Tigers, who lost José Iglesias to free agency. Mercer does have versatility, with the ability to play first, second, and third base as well as the corner outfield in a pinch.