Mazara, who turns 26 in April, hit .228 with one home run in 42 games during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. That was his first season with the Chicago White Sox after he spent four with the Texas Rangers.
"After a frustrating 2020 season, I'm looking forward to a fresh start and getting to work with the coaching staff, especially AJ Hinch, who I always enjoyed competing against during his time in Houston," Mazara said. "I've come to really appreciate coming to Detroit as a visiting player and can't wait to join their baseball community this season."
Hinch took over as Detroit's manager this offseason.
Mazara hit 20 home runs in each of his first three years with the Rangers, then 19 in 2019. He tied for fifth in the AL Rookie of the Year voting in 2016, the year Detroit pitcher Michael Fulmer won the award.
"Heading through the offseason we were looking to add a left-handed-hitting outfielder to provide AJ with more options for the lineup, and bringing Nomar on board does exactly that," Tigers general manager Al Avila said.
Mazara's deal includes $500,000 in performance bonuses based on plate appearances: $100,000 each for 350, 400, 450, 500 and 550.
To make room for Mazara, the Tigers designated right-hander John Schreiber for assignment.