Not yet eligible for arbitration, players sign one-year contracts
DETROIT -- The Tigers began the process of negotiating one-year contracts for their players who aren't yet eligible for arbitration, reaching deals with Eulogio De La Cruz, Preston Larrison, Virgil Vasquez, Edward Campusano and Mike Rabelo on Tuesday.
De La Cruz, Larrison and Rabelo all split last season between Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo, closing the season on the Mud Hens squad that won a second consecutive International League Governors' Cup championship.
Rabelo was an unlikely success story, starting the season as a platoon catcher at Erie before ending it in Detroit. In between, the 27-year-old switch-hitter batted .277 at Erie and .270 at Toledo while showing a strong ability to work with young pitchers.
De La Cruz didn't arrive at Toledo until the postseason after going 5-6 with a 3.43 ERA in 105 innings as a swingman for the SeaWolves. Larrison scattered two earned runs on 12 hits and five walks over 10 1/3 innings in six relief appearances for Toledo. He went 4-10 with a 3.92 ERA in 26 games for Erie, including 15 starts.
Vasquez was added to the 40-man roster after a standout season in the Arizona Fall League. The 24-year-old right-hander posted a 2-1 record and a 2.81 ERA in six outings there, then tossed five innings of one-run ball to earn the victory in the league title game. Despite a 7-12 record at Erie, he ranked second in the Eastern League with 173 2/3 innings pitched and 10th with a 3.73 ERA.
The Tigers acquired Campusano via trade as a potential lefty relief option after the Brewers selected him in the Rule 5 Draft in December. He racked up 25 saves to go with a 2-1 record, a 1.46 ERA and 71 strikeouts over 55 1/3 innings between Class A Peoria and Double-A West Tenn in the Cubs farm system.
The signings mean the Tigers have reached contracts with 26 players on their 40-man roster. Negotiations with the remaining players continue until teams can automatically renew contracts from March 2-11.
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