November 18th, 2011
Lefties Casey Crosby and Matt Hoffman are now on the 40-man roster, as are right-hander Tyler Stohr, outfielder Avisail Garcia and second baseman Hernan Perez. Cale Iorg has been outrighted to Triple-A Toledo. Add in the Gerald Laird signing, and Detroit’s 40-man roster stands at 39 players, allowing space for a free agent signing or a trade if something goes down between now and the winter meetings in a little more than two weeks.
I wrote a roundup yesterday of the roster decisions the Tigers faced. I didn’t include Garcia and Perez on there because I forgot just how young they were when they signed, and that the rules on eligibility applied to them too.
So who does that leave eligible for the Rule 5 draft?
- Brandon Douglas, 2B/SS: He was part of the picture at second base not long ago, and was a non-roster invite to spring training last year. He didn’t have a bad season at all at Double-A Erie, but at age 26, he’s six years older than Perez. It’s conceivable somebody takes a chance on carrying him as a utility infielder with speed.
- Jay Voss, LHP: His return to starting pitching was impressive at Double-A Erie, and with his 25th birthday coming up in April, he’s nearing that make-or-break point. If he could take some of those starting qualities and put them into use in relief, he could be intriguing. And hey, he’s left-handed.
- Gustavo Nunez, SS: You remember this guy from the rave reviews he had going into 2010, including from Dave Dombrowski. He’s had his struggles since then, but he hasn’t been terrible, either.
Also worth noting: While Cale Iorg is no longer on the roster, Will Rhymes and Clete Thomas are. Dombrowski mentioned Rhymes among their internal second-base options at season’s end, though they’d clearly like to find somebody on the market. It would be interesting to see what he could do with another shot if the offense is clicking around him. Thomas struggled through last season until a very good final stretch gave him some decent final numbers with a .251 average, 12 homers, 53 RBIs and 20 stolen bases in 23 tries. His skill set greatly overlaps with that of Andy Dirks, but hey, you never know.
The deal is done, reportedly at $1 million, the same money Laird got with St. Louis last year.
“Gerald is a veteran catcher that is familiar with both our pitching staff and organization,” Tigers President, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager David Dombrowski said. “As a right-handed hitter, he is the solid
complement to Alex Avila as our backup catcher for the 2012 season.”