Tigers Agree to Terms with Six Players on Minor League Contracts for 2016 Season

DETROIT - The Detroit Tigers announced today that the club has agreed to terms on minor league contracts for the 2016 season with six players.

The list of signed players includes righthanded pitchers Logan Kensing, Melvin Mercedes and Dustin Molleken, infielder Alberto Gonzalez, outfielder Nate Schierholtz and infielder/outfielder Jordany Valdespin. 

Kensing and Schierholtz have each received an invitation to Major League spring training camp.

Gonzalez, 32, returns to the Tigers organization in 2016 after spending the 2015 season with Double A Erie and Triple A Toledo. Gonzalez played in 52 games between the SeaWolves and Mud Hens last year and hit .273 (50x183) with 19 runs scored, 12 doubles, one triple, two home runs and 19 RBI. Gonzalez is a career .270 (713x2640) hitter in the minors with 340 runs scored, 136 doubles, 31 triples, 21 home runs and 266 RBI in 748 games. He has also played in 426 games in the majors and has a .239 (227x950) batting average with 97 runs scored, 46 doubles, seven triples, four home runs and 91 RBI.

Kensing, 33, spent the 2015 season in the Seattle Mariners organization, playing for Triple A Tacoma and Seattle. Kensing appeared in 19 games with the Mariners and had a 2-1 record with a 5.87 ERA (15.1IP/10ER) and 13 strikeouts, while he pitched in 19 games with Tacoma and went 2-0 with one save, a 2.23 ERA (32.1IP/8ER) and 25 strikeouts. In his career, Kensing has made 154 appearances, including three starts, in the majors and has a 10-10 record with two saves, a 5.80 ERA (177.0IP/114ER) and 157 strikeouts. He has pitched in 274 games, including 43 starts, in the minor leagues and has a 30-27 record with 45 saves, a 3.52 ERA (526.0IP/206ER) and 457 strikeouts.

Mercedes, 25, split the 2015 season between Double A Erie and Triple A Toledo. He appeared in 38 games, including two starts, between the SeaWolves and Mud Hens and had a 1-2 record with one save, a 4.95 ERA (60.0IP/33ER) and 52 starts. Mercedes made his major league debut with the Tigers in 2014, pitching in one game and throwing 2.0 scoreless innings with two strikeouts. In his minor league career, Mercedes is 13-17 with 64 saves, a 3.45 ERA (357.1IP/137ER) and 250 strikeouts in 263 appearances, including two starts.

Molleken, 31, spent the entire 2015 season with Triple A Columbus in the Cleveland Indians system. Molleken pitched in 40 games, including three starts, and had a 5-3 record with one save, a 3.25 ERA (52.2IP/19ER) and 52 strikeouts. Molleken has pitched in 323 games, including 26 starts, in his minor league career and has a 38-25 record with 17 saves, a 4.75 ERA (591.1IP/312ER) and 532 strikeouts.

Schierholtz, 31, played for the Hiroshima Carp of Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball League in 2015. Schierholtz played in 31 games and hit .250 (58x232) with 27 runs scored, 11 doubles, one triple, 10 home runs and 30 RBI. Schierholtz has spent eight seasons in the majors and has a .253 (529x2090) batting average with 238 runs scored, 118 doubles, 22 triples, 52 home runs and 228 RBI in 799 career games. He has also played in 634 games in the minors and has a .305 (746x2447) average with 379 runs scored, 162 doubles, 45 triples, 85 home runs and 405 RBI.

Valdespin, 28, spent most of the 2015 season with Triple A New Orleans in the Miami Marlins organization. Valdespin played in 76 games with New Orleans and hit .293 (75x256) with 34 runs scored, 12 doubles, three triples, two home runs and 20 RBI. He also played in two games with the Marlins, going 0x4. In his career, Valdespin has played in 214 games in the majors and is a .216 (92x426) hitter with 52 runs scored, 14 doubles, three triples, 15 home runs and 52 RBI. He has also played in 563 games in the minors and has a .288 (608x2111) batting average with 312 runs scored, 105 doubles, 26 triples, 49 home runs and 263 RBI.