Tigers add 6 on Minors deals with spring invites

Tigers add 6 on Minors deals with spring invites

DETROIT -- On the same day the Tigers announced their Spring Training schedule, they announced a half-dozen non-roster invites for players to take part in big league camp.

Detroit announced 17 Minor League signings on Friday, including recent Major Leaguers Tommy Field, Preston Guilmet, Drake Britton, Lendy Castillo and Jake Brigham, along with Ruben Alaniz, Albert Cordero, Anthony Fernandez, Eduardo Figueroa and Cory Riordan. The list also includes re-signings of Tigers Minor Leaguers Thad Weber, Rafael Dolis, Edgar De La Rosa, Endrys Briceno, Miguel Gonzalez, Ross Seaton and Jiwan James.

Britton, Castillo, Dolis, Field, Gonzalez and Guilmet all received non-roster invites to Major League Spring Training in February. The rest will report to the Tigers' Minor League camp later in the month.

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The vast majority of the players announced Friday are pitchers, giving the Tigers organizational depth in the upper levels, stabilizing a Triple-A Toledo pitching staff that went through a rocky 2015 while buying Detroit's lower-level prospects more time to develop. Add in Triple-A Rule 5 draft selections Kurt Spomer and Santiago Garrido, and Tigers vice president of player development Dave Littlefield said the club has filled gaps in the system.

Guilmet, a 28-year-old right-hander, pitched five Major League games this past season with the Rays and Brewers, allowing nine runs on as many hits over 7 1/3 innings with four walks and six strikeouts. He pitched in relief at Triple-A for four different organizations, combining for 39 appearances, four saves and a 2.15 ERA. He allowed 37 hits over 50 1/3 innings, one home run, 14 walks and 46 strikeouts. He has some deceptiveness, Littlefield said, which has allowed him to average 9.5 strikeouts per nine innings over 128 career Triple-A appearances.

Britton pitched in 25 games for the Red Sox in 2013 and 2014, striking out 21 batters over 27 2/3 innings, before the 26-year-old left-hander went to the Cubs off waivers in February. He went 7-8 with a 5.08 ERA this past season for Triple-A Iowa in 28 appearances, 11 of them starts, while allowing 80 hits over 83 1/3 innings, with 33 walks and 45 strikeouts.

Castillo hasn't pitched in the Majors since a brief stint in 2012 with the Cubs. The 26-year-old righty split this past season in Class A Advanced and Double-A ball in the Rangers and Blue Jays organizations, allowing 26 earned runs on 57 hits over 49 innings, with 27 walks and 39 strikeouts.

Dolis, a Minor League free-agent signing by the Tigers last offseason, did not get a shot at Detroit's bullpen in 2015 after allowing 34 earned runs on 63 hits over 66 1/3 innings for Toledo. Command struggles led to 42 walks against 54 strikeouts. The big right-hander will turn 28 next month.

Field, who turns 29 in February, has earned big league callups as a utility infielder with three different organizations over the last five years, most recently playing in 14 games for Texas this past season. He's a career .214 (25-for-117) hitter with two homers and eight RBIs. He has shown some power in the Minor Leagues, including 23 doubles and 14 homers in 103 games this past summer for Triple-A Round Rock. He batted .247 (91-for-369) with 53 walks and 82 strikeouts.

Gonzalez returns to the Tigers after splitting this past season as a catcher at Toledo and Double-A Erie. The 25-year-old hit .242 (53-for-219) with 18 doubles, two homers and 26 RBIs between the two stops.

Of the non-invite signings announced Friday, Briceno ended the season ranked No. 14 among the Tigers' top prospects by MLB.com, while De La Rosa was  ranked 19th. 

ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick tweeted Thursday evening that Brigham, a right-handed pitcher, signed with Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan's Pacific League. An industry source confirmed mutual interest. At this point, Brigham is under contract with the Tigers, so a deal would have to be reached between the two clubs to sell Brigham's rights to Rakuten, which appears likely to happen.

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