DETROIT – The Detroit Tigers announced today that the club has agreed to terms on Minor League contracts for the 2018 season with four players.
The list of signed players includes righthanded pitcher Matt West, lefthanded pitchers James Russell and Caleb Thielbar and infielder Alexi Amarista. Amarista has received an invitation to Major League Spring Training camp.
Amarista, 28, spent the entire 2017 season with the Colorado Rockies, playing in 96 games and hitting .238 (40×168) with 22 runs scored, 10 doubles, three home runs and 19 RBI. In 702 career games at the Major League level, Amarista has posted a .231 (404×1750) batting average with 171 runs scored, 67 doubles, 16 triples, 21 home runs and 169 RBI. He has also played in 509 games in the minors and has a .312 (633×2026) batting average with 336 runs scored, 120 doubles, 35 triples, 22 home runs and 251 RBI. Amarista was named to the Midwest League’s Midseason and Postseason All-Star Team in 2009 with Single A Cedar Rapids and to the California League’s Midseason All-Star Team in 2010 with Single A Rancho Cucamonga. A native of Barcelona, VZ, Amarista was originally signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Los Angeles Angels on January 25, 2007.
Russell, 32, split the 2017 season between Leones de Yucatan in the Mexican League and the Texas AirHogs in the American Association and compiled a 4-1 record with a 2.53 ERA (89.0IP/25ER) and 73 strikeouts in 14 starts. Russell has appeared in 394 career games, including six starts, at the Major League level and has a 10-18 record with four saves, a 4.09 ERA (334.2IP/152ER) and 243 strikeouts. He has also made 109 career appearances, including 53 starts, in the minors and has posted a 16-21 record with three saves, a 4.52 ERA (340.2IP/171ER) and 241 strikeouts. Originally from Cincinnati, OH, Russell was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 14th round of the 2007 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Thielbar, 30, pitched for the St. Paul Saints in the American Association last season and had a 2-1 record with a 2.01 ERA (22.1IP/5ER) and 23 strikeouts in 17 relief outings. Thielbar has appeared in 161 career games, including four starts, in the majors and has a 5-3 record with a 2.74 ERA (98.2IP/30ER) and 79 strikeouts. He has also pitched in 161 games, including four starts, at the Minor League level and has compiled a 19-9 record with 10 saves, a 3.00 ERA (270.1IP/90ER) and 239 strikeouts. A native of Northfield, MN, Thielbar was originally selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 18th round of the 2009 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
West, 29, made two appearances with the Orix Buffaloes in the Japan Pacific League in 2017 and had a 0-0 record with a 4.50 ERA (2.0IP/1ER). In 156 career games, including three starts, at the Minor League level, West has posted an 11-11 record with 20 saves, a 3.54 ERA (203.2IP/80ER) and 206 strikeouts. He has also pitched in five games in the majors and has a 0-0 record with a 3.86 ERA (7.0IP/3ER) and five strikeouts. A native of Houston, TX, West was originally selected by the Texas Rangers in the second round of the 2007 MLB First-Year Player Draft.