The Tigers announced today that they have signed utility man Eric Patterson to a minor league contract. The versatile Patterson has seen action at second base and all three outfield positions in five partial seasons in the majors. The Tigers will be his fifth organization in a career which has included stints with the Cubs, Athletics, Red Sox and Padres.
The 28-year-old left-handed batter has hit .217 with 10 homers and 37 extra base hits in 574 major league plate appearances, which is the equivalent of one full season. He walks in about 10% of his PA which is OK, but has an OBP of .294 because he hasn't hit for average. The one thing he thing is does exceptionally well is run and he has stolen 35 bases in 40 career attempts.
Patterson may compete for the 25th spot on the roster with outfielders Andy Dirks and Clete Thomas and infielder Danny Worth. The one advantage he has over all those players is the ability to play both infield and outfield. Still, the most likely result is that he'll start the season in Toledo serving as organizational depth in case there are injuries at the major league level.