Tigers sign former first-round pick Perry to Minors deal

Tigers sign former first-round pick Perry to Minors deal

LAKELAND, Fla. -- For the third time in the past two months, the Tigers have brought back a former prospect, signing 2008 first-round pick Ryan Perry to a Minor League contract.

Perry, Detroit's top pick in the '08 First-Year Player Draft, was released last July after 2 1/2 seasons in the Nationals organization. He ended up having surgery to repair a hip injury after pitching in just a handful of games at Double-A Harrisburg last year, allowing five runs on nine hits over eight innings.

It was a dramatic fall after Perry made a historic rise up the Tigers organizational ladder. The former University of Arizona product went from first-round pick in 2008 to the Opening Day roster in '09 with just 14 Minor League appearances in between.

Perry posted a 3.79 ERA over 61 2/3 innings in Detroit as a rookie, walking 38 and striking out 60. He recorded two saves the following season, allowing 55 hits over 62 2/3 innings, but his strikeout rate fell precipitously, a trend that continued in 2011 and beyond.

Detroit traded Perry to Washington after the 2011 season in exchange for another right-handed relief prospect, Collin Balester. The Nationals converted Perry to a starting pitcher with some success at Double-A in 2012, but he struggled from there.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.