Tigers sign Crotta, Huffman to Minors deals

Tigers sign Crotta, Huffman to Minors deals

DETROIT -- The Tigers made two more Minor League signings, announcing deals with right-hander Michael Crotta and outfielder Chad Huffman on Wednesday. Neither deal included a non-roster invite to Major League camp.

For the Tigers, the deals add depth to a farm system that didn't have enough of it in 2015. For Crotta and Huffman, the deals present a return to the United States after both spent the past two seasons playing in Japan.

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The 31-year-old Crotta reached the Majors as a reliever with the Pirates in 2011 before elbow surgery put his career in transition. The 6-foot-6 hurler posted a 4-5 record with a 2.62 ERA and six saves for the Nippon Ham Fighters in '14 before struggling to a 2-2 record and a 6.59 ERA for the club this past season. He last pitched in the Minors in '13, going 6-7 with a 3.57 ERA and four saves for Triple-A Syracuse.

The 30-year-old Huffman is a right-handed hitter who played nine games with the Yankees in 2010 and posted a three-homer, 10-RBI game for Triple-A Columbus in '11. After batting .282 with 13 homers and 55 RBIs for Triple-A Memphis in '13, Huffman signed with the Chiba Lotte Marines. Huffman hit .270 with 20 doubles, four homers and 28 RBIs over 67 games in '14, but he went just 1-for-11 in six games this past season.

The moves mark the third round of Minor League signings the Tigers have announced. They confirmed six deals last week, including former Major Leaguers Nate Schierholtz and Logan Kensing on Minor League contracts with Major League invites.

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.