Niko Goodrum Elects Free Agency

The Tigers announced Friday that infielder Niko Goodrum went unclaimed on outright waivers and has elected free agency. Detroit also passed righty Nivaldo Rodriguez and outfielder Jacob Robson through waivers unclaimed, though they’ll both remain with the organization after being outrighted to Triple-A. (Unlike Goodrum, they did not have the service time needed to reject an outright assignment and elect free agency.)

Additionally, the Tigers selected the contracts of righty Angel De Jesus and infielder Kody Clemens. Both are now on the 40-man roster and thus protected from this offseason’s Rule 5 Draft.

Goodrum, 29, looked like a minor league free-agent steal a few years ago when he signed in Detroit and hit .245/.315/.432 with 16 homers and a dozen steals while playing every position other than catcher, center field and pitcher. He matched those solid 2018 numbers in near-identical fashion in 2019, improving his glovework at shortstop in the process and looking like at least a useful utility piece — if not a possible everyday shortstop.

Unfortunately for both Goodrum and the Tigers, the switch-hitter’s bat tumbled in 2020 and wasn’t able to recover this past season. Over the past two years, Goodrum has managed just a .203/.282/.350 batting line, while his strikeout rate has skyrocketed from 28% to 34.9%. Goodrum can still play all over the diamond and still has a decent blend of power and speed, but his mounting issues making contact and a projected $2.9MM arbitration salary prompted Detroit to effectively non-tender him.

More to come.

Published at Fri, 19 Nov 2021 19:05:26 +0000

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