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.
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.
“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