LAS VEGAS — The Detroit Tigers have reached one of three key dates.
On Thursday, the Tigers had to recover players from the 60-day injured list and bring them back to the 40-man roster. Next week, the Tigers must add minor leaguers to the 40-man roster on Tuesday to protect them from the Rule 5 draft, then the TBEN for non-tenders is Friday.
“Those decisions are very difficult, especially for me,” Scott Harris, president of baseball operations, said during general manager meetings Tuesday. “I don’t know these players as well as most presidents know their players. I trust a lot of people who have been here for a while.”
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The Tigers entered the off-season with 10 players on the 60-day injured list: Beau Brieske, Kyle Funkhouser, Rony García, Sean Guenther, Matt Manning, Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal, Spencer Turnbull, Jake Rogers and Austin Meadows.
All 10 players were reinstated to the 40-man roster.
To do that, the Tigers were forced to make numerous cuts. Six players were dropped from the 40-man roster, cleared waivers and went straight to Triple-A Toledo: right-handers Luis Castillo, Bryan Garcia and Elvin Rodriguez, infielders Luis Garcia and Jermaine Palacios and outfielder Victor Reyes.
The most notable is Reyes.
Reyes, who earned $1.4 million in 2021 and would qualify for arbitration for the second time this offseason, is expected to turn down the outright award to Triple-A Toledo in favor of free agency. According to MLB Trade Rumors, he was estimated to be worth $2.2 million in salary arbitrage.
The 28-year-old, acquired by the Tigers in the 2017 Rule 5 draft, could turn down the minor league assignment because he has more than three years of MLB service time. He batted .264 with 49 walks and 287 strikeouts in 394 games in parts of five seasons.
Bryan Garcia can turn down the assignment to Toledo and also opt for free agency, because he has been exploited outright before in his career. He pitched 76 games in parts of four MLB seasons. The Tigers selected him in the sixth round of the 2016 draft.
Castillo, Rodriguez and Palacios can become free players in the minor league, while Luis Garcia – a 22-year-old former top candidate who does not qualify for the minors free agency – will remain with the organization.
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The Tigers’ 40-man roster currently stands at 40 players. The Tigers must free up extra space on Tuesday to protect players from the Rule 5 draft.
On Wednesday, the Tigers cleared two spots on the 40-man roster. Outfielder Daz Cameron – who played 73 MLB games in parts of three seasons – was given waivers by the Baltimore Orioles, and infielder Josh Lester cleared waivers and was assigned directly to Triple-A Toledo.
Tigers’ 40-man roster for now:
Pitchers (21): Tyler Alexander, Beau Brieske, José Cisnero, Angel De Jesus, Miguel Díaz, Alex Faedo, Jason Foley, Kyle Funkhouser, Rony García, Sean Guenther, Garrett Hill, Joe Jiménez, Alex Lange, Matt Manning, Casey Mize, Eduardo Rodriguez, Tarik Skubal, Gregory Soto, Spencer Turnbull, Will Vest, Joey Wentz.
Catchers (3): Eric Haase, Michael Papierski, Jake Rogers.
Infielders (11): Javier Báez, Miguel Cabrera, Jeimer Candelario, Harold Castro, Kody Clemens, Brendon Davis, Andy Ibáñez, Ryan Kreidler, Jonathan Schoop, Zack Short, Spencer Torkelson.
Outfielders (5): Akil Baddoo, Kerry Carpenter, Willi Castro, Riley Greene, Austin Meadows.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tiger 40-Man Roster: Victor Reyes Cut Among 6 Players