Tigers' Keith gets $28.6M deal before MLB debut

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DETROIT — The Tigers made an unusual bet on a player with no major league experience, signing 22-year-old infield prospect Colt Keith to a six-year contract Sunday that guarantees him $28,642,500.

His deal includes three team options that could make it worth $64 million over nine seasons, and the Tigers said there are escalators that increase the value to $82 million over nine years.

Keith is ranked the No. 22 big league prospect by MLB.com.

A left-handed-hitting third baseman and second baseman, Keith is from Zanesville, Ohio, and was a fifth-round pick in the 2020 amateur draft out of Biloxi High School in Mississippi.

He hit .325 with 14 home runs and 50 RBIs in 59 games last year for Double-A Erie then was promoted to Triple-A Toledo on June 26 and batted .287 with 13 home runs and 51 RBIs in 67 games.

Keith gets a $2 million signing bonus and salaries of $2.5 million in 2024, $3.5 million in 2025, $4 million each in 2026 and 2027 and $5 million apiece in 2028 and 2029. Detroit has a $10 million option for 2030 with a $2,642,500 buyout, a $13 million option for 2031 with a $1 million buyout and a $15 million option for 2032 with a $2 million buyout.

The Milwaukee Brewers agreed last month to an eight-year, $82 million contract with 19-year-old outfielder Jackson Chourio, the largest contract for a prospect with no major league service.

Detroit has had losing records in seven straight seasons. The Tigers have not won a World Series since 1984 and have not won an American League pennant since 2012.

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