Longtime scout Russell returns to Tigers

DETROIT -- The Tigers strengthened their scouting and analytics departments Friday, announcing the return of longtime scout Mike Russell as a special assistant and the arrival of Jim Logue as a baseball analytics manager.

Though Russell spent the last two seasons with the D-backs, overseeing their pro scouting department, he was one of the first scouting hires by then-general manager Dave Dombrowski and then-assistant Al Avila. His history with Dombrowski and Avila dates back to 1996, when he joined the Marlins as an area supervisor and special assignment scout.

He was on the Tigers' Major League scouting staff from 2002 through 2014, primarily scouting the National League East while also helping scout within the organization. He became one of the most trusted advisors for the Tigers' front office.

Russell's scouting work played a part in numerous deals, the biggest being the 2007 trade that brought Miguel Cabrera to Detroit.

Russell was inducted into the Professional Baseball Scouts Hall of Fame in 2013. He also made an impact on the charitable side with a donation to pay for the funeral for James Van Horn, better known for his "Eat 'Em Up Tigers" chant around Comerica Park, after Van Horn was killed in a hit-and-run accident.

Russell was the longest-tenured member of Detroit's scouting ranks when he left the Tigers after the 2014 season for the D-backs to work with longtime friend De Jon Watson, who had just become Arizona's senior vice president of baseball operations. The recent changeover in the D-backs' front office provided an opportunity for the Tigers to pursue a reunion, and new Arizona general manager Mike Hazen did not stand in the way.

Logue had worked with the Yankees in a variety of roles since 2007, the year before his graduation from Amherst College. Most recently, he was New York's senior analyst for quantitative analysis, creating predictive analytics to support all aspects of baseball operations decision-making.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. 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.