Austin Romine Strikes Deal With Detroit Tigers
The Detroit Tigers made a move to shore up their catching situation. The team struck a deal with free-agent catcher Austin Romine. The team focused on adding an experienced catcher during this week’s Winter a Meetings and they did just that. The deal is worth $4.1 million over one year. Entering his age 31 season, Romine will get the opportunity to compete with Grayson Greiner for the starting catcher role.
Austin Romine has spent his entire career with the New York Yankees. Unfortunately for Romine, he was never given the opportunity to start. Russell Martin, Brian McCann, and Gary Sanchez have been the primary backstops during Romine’s career in the Bronx.
Even still, Romine has always been a solid back up for the Yankees. He was selected in the 2007 MLB draft by the Yankees. He was a 2nd round selection and ended up debuting in 2011. Romine has always been considered a defense-first catcher, and the Yankees always considered him that. He has thrown out 22.9% of would-be base stealers during his career.
His bat has never been a strong point, but recently he has seemed to figure it out. Between 2018 and 2019, he slashed .262/.302/.428. He hit 18 home runs with 24 doubles in 149 games between the two seasons.
Romine will likely slot in as the starter, as mentioned before. It will give the two young catchers that the Tigers have in Grenier and Jake Rogers time to develop and learn from a veteran.
Tigers fans might remember Austin Romine as being the center of a dust-up with Miguel Cabrera in 2017. Romine did address this when asked:
New Tigers catcher Austin Romine on 2017 benches-clearing brawl with Miguel Cabrera: "No hard feelings. I feel like baseball takes care of itself. You have two guys out there protecting their teams. That's just baseball. It was an unfortunate circumstance but you move on."
— Jason Beck (@beckjason) December 13, 2019
It doesn’t look like it will be an issue at all. The Tigers will be getting their veteran catcher, and Romine will have a chance to create some real value for himself and enter the free-agent market again after the 2020 season.