Kozma agreed to a minor-league contract with Detroit on Friday that includes an invitation to spring training. Kozma will remain in the Tigers' organization for the second straight season after spending a majority of the 2018 campaign at the Triple-A level. He is set to compete for an Opening Day spot in spring training, but the 30-year-old shouldn't be viewed as anything more than a depth piece after slashing .217/.236/.348 in 27 games with the big-league team last year.
Kozma decided to pursue free agency Thursday. Kozma will land on the open market after being outrighted off Detroit's 40-man roster earlier in the week. The infielder played in 27 games for the Tigers in 2018, hitting just .217 with a .584 OPS. The 30-year-old has bounced around the past few years and will look to find a new home as a depth piece prior to next season.
Kozma was outrighted to Triple-A Toledo on Wednesday, Evan Woodbery of MLive.com reports. Kozma spent the majority of the 2018 season as organizational infield depth, appearing in just 27 games for the Tigers and slashing .217/.236/.348.
Kozma is not starting Friday against the Brewers. Kozma sits for the third time in four games, following a stretch in which he started five straight at shortstop. Niko Goodrum will start at short Friday, with Jim Adduci playing first base.
Kozma's contract was selected by the Tigers on Friday. The Tigers required an extra infielder for the stretch run after Jose Iglesias suffered a setback in his recovery from an abdominal strain. Kozma appeared in 15 games for the Tigers earlier in the season, hitting .175/.195/.300. As a 30-year-old with a career 53 wRC+, Kozma is unlikely to be anything other than bench depth over the final few weeks of the season, as the Tigers will presumably prefer to give at-bats to younger players who could be part of their future. Iglesias was placed on the 60-day disabled list in a corresponding move.