By Jeff O'Brien

Newly acquired Detroit Tigers outfielder Austin Meadows is expected to be ready for opening day Friday against the Chicago White Sox after recently being slowed by an oblique injury.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 02: Austin Meadows #17 of the Tampa Bay Rays follows through on his seventh inning three run home run against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on October 02, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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Meadows was set to play in a simulated game Wednesday.

The 26-year-old Meadows, who had a career-high 106 RBIs last season, was acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night for infielder Isaac Paredes and a competitive balance round B pick in the 2022 draft.

Meadows’ younger brother, Parker, was selected by Detroit in the second round of the 2018 draft. He played for Class A Lakeland and Class A West Michigan last year.

The Tigers open at Comerica Park, ready to show off a roster boosted by offseason trades and free-agent signings.

Meadows hit .234 with 27 homers last season.

TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 13: Austin Meadows #17 of the Tampa Bay Rays rounds the bases as he scores a home run in the ninth inning of their MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on September 13, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)

“He’s rarin’ to go,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said before Tuesday’s spring training game against the New York Yankees. “Obviously it’s a shock for him because he’s going one camp to another last minute, but given his familiarity with the organization through his brother, I think he could be up and running pretty quickly.”

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Meadows made the AL All-Star team in 2019 when he finished with a .291 batting average, 33 homers, and 89 RBIs.

“I know we added a big bat at a really fun time as we get close to breaking camp,” Hinch said.

Detroit is much improved after going 77-85 last year in its fifth consecutive losing season. Meadows joins a lineup that includes star infielder Javier Báez, who signed with the Tigers in free agency, and Spencer Torkelson, one of the majors’ top slugging prospects.

TAMPA, FLORIDA – MARCH 05: Spencer Torkelson #73 of the Detroit Tigers bats in the seventh inning against the New York Yankees in a spring training game at George M. Steinbrenner Field on March 05, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

Paredes, 23, can play second, third, and shortstop. He batted .208 with a homer and five RBIs in 23 games with Detroit last season.

“We gave up some value as well,” Hinch said. “That was not a free trade. That definitely impacted the organization’s depth. What you want in these trades is both teams to get what they need and it sounds like we did.”

NOTES: The Tigers agreed to terms with RHP Spencer Turnbull on a two-year deal to avoid arbitration. … RHPs Jacob Barnes, Will Vest and Drew Hutchison have been told that they made the opening-day roster. … Hinch said the Tigers will start the season with 14 or 15 pitchers on the expanded 28-man roster.

 

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