With Detroit, Raph Rhymes remains a Tiger

Former LSU outfielder Raph Rhymes started a new phase of his baseball career Friday, but he’s still a Tiger.

Rhymes, a 15th-round draft choice from Monroe, signed with the Detroit Tigers.

“The dream has become a reality. Officially a Detroit Tiger! Let the grind begin,” Rhymes tweeted with a picture of himself signing the contract.

The tweet mirrored one former Tigers right-hander Will LaMarche sent a day earlier after he signed with the Tigers. LaMarche, a ninth-round pick, was assigned to Detroit’s rookie team in the Gulf Coast League.

Rhymes was a first-team all-Southeastern Conference selection each of his last two seasons. He was the SEC Player of the Year in 2012 after batting a school-record .431.

Rhymes arrived Friday night in Albany, N.Y., where he joined the Tigers’ short-season Class A Connecticut team in the New York-Penn League. On Saturday and Sunday, Connecticut is scheduled to play Tri-Cities, the Astros’ affiliate, which features former LSU reliever Chris Cotton.

The New York Yankees confirmed that they signed former LSU reliever Nick Rumbelow and assigned him to their short-season Class A Staten Island team in the NY-P League. Infielder Mason Katz is with the Cardinals’ State College (Pa.) team, meaning four players from this season’s LSU team are in the league.

Baseball America reported that outfielder JaCoby Jones, a third-round pick, signed with the Pirates, though Pittsburgh has yet to announce the deal. Jones’ signing would mean all eight of the LSU players drafted this month who were expected to sign have done so.

Right-hander Ryan Eades (Twins) and catcher Ty Ross (Giants) signed Thursday. Infielder Christian Ibarra, a 32nd-round pick of the Pirates, is expected to return for his season year.