January 25th, 2010
The mystery of how the Tigers would create roster space for Jose Valverde has been solved. They outrighted the contract of corner infielder Jeff Larish to Triple-A Toledo.
It’s a surprising move when you consider how valued he was last winter, to the point that the Tigers wouldn’t deal him to Seattle in any trade talks for J.J. Putz. He was set up to be a valuable left-handed bat and role player last year, and he made the Opening Day roster, but he batted .216 in 32 games before going to Toledo in early June. He hit .265 with a .397 on-base percentage, six home runs and 26 RBIs in 61 games there, but struggled down the stretch before undergoing surgery on his right wrist.
Larish will still be in Major League camp as a non-roster invitee, so he’ll still have a chance to crack the roster.
The Tigers now have more pitchers (21) on their 40-man roster than position players.