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Detroit Tigers bring back Jonathan Schoop

Sep 10, 2020; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; Detroit Tigers second baseman Jonathan Schoop (8) turns a double play as St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Tommy Edman (19) slides during the first inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers decided to bring back Jonathan Schoop, signing the free agent to a one-year contract, the team announced Friday.

Financial terms weren’t disclosed, but according to MLB.com, the deal is worth $4.5 million.

The Tigers also designated outfielder Travis Demeritte for assignment.

The decision to bring Schoop back marks the first time the club re-signed an everyday player in free agency since Victor Martinez after the 2014 season.

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Schoop enjoyed his best offensive year since his All-Star season in 2017. In 44 games with the Tigers during the shortened 2020 season, he hit .278 with a .799 OPS (115 OPS+), eight homers and 23 RBIs.

“Jonathan made a tremendous impression on us last year, and we’re looking forward to having him back with the ballclub for the 2021 season,” general manager Al Avila said Friday in a statement. “Not only were we impressed by the on-field results, but also his leadership and relentless desire to be in the lineup day-in and day-out.”

Schoop, 29, provided strong defense, too, earning a position as Gold Glove finalist.

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“I’m thankful for the opportunity to rejoin the Tigers for the 2021 season,” Schoop said. “We have a really good group here — we started to build something special last year and are going to take it to the next level in 2021.”

Demeritte was largely a disappointment following his July 2019 acquisition, along with left-hander Joey Wentz, from the Atlanta Braves, who received reliever Shane Greene in exchange.

With the Tigers, Demeritte, 26, hit .217 with three home runs and a .608 OPS in 66 games. He struck out 77 times and walked 17 times.

If Demeritte clears waivers, he can be outrighted to Triple-A Toledo.

The Tigers’ likely outfield starters are Robbie Grossman, JaCoby Jones and Victor Reyes.

–Field Level Media