On this date in 1998, the Tigers signed free agent Gregg Jefferies to a two-year contract and traded outfielder Luis Gonzalez to the Diamondbacks for Karim Garcia.
A lifetime .289 hitter, Jeffries hit just .231 with a .639 OPS in 111 games for the 1999 and 2000 clubs.
In Gonzalez’s lone season with the Tigers he hit .267, 23 homers and 71 RBI with a .816 OPS. So you can understand why the Tigers were eager to deal him. He would become a legend in Arizona over eight seasons, hitting .298, with 224 homers and a .919 OPS.
Garcia? Well, he had less remarkable career in Detroit: in parts of two seasons, 1999 and 2000, he hit .236 with 14 homers and .708 OPS.
Happy 54th birthday to the pride of Bowling Green State University, Kip Young.
Young made his major-league debut on July 21, 1978 against the Angels at Tiger Stadium. He took the loss in the 11-inning game, surrendering two earned runs in the 11th. For the rest of the ’78 season Young (wearing number 44) was a starter, earning a 6-6 record — with seven complete games — and a 2.81 ERA.
In his sophomore season, Young, now wearing number 37, compiled a 2-2 record with a 6.39 ERA in 13 appearances, seven of them starts. Most notable in an otherwise unremarkable year, Young had a 2-to-1 strikeouts-to-walk ratio.
On Nov. 21, 1979, the Mariners purchased Young’s contract but he never pitched in a game for Seattle…or anyone else for that matter.
Other Tigers birthdays today include: