Clete Thomas designated for assignment
All along, the roster question surrounding Drew Smyly’s eventual call-up for his big-league debut seemed to be whether Clete Thomas or Andy Dirks would go to make room. It was Thomas, whom the Tigers announced will have his contract designated for assignment on Thursday morning.
Thomas has been a part of the organization ever since the Tigers drafted him in 2005. He played in 102 games for Detroit in 2009, which is more than Marcus Thames or Ramon Santiago played that year. But once he lost his 2010 season to microfracture knee surgery, and Brennan Boesch and Andy Dirks emerged over the last two years, Thomas was in a tough spot.
It’s possible a team will claim him on waivers and add him to their 40-man roster to provide a left-handed bat in the outfield. If this move had happened near the end of Spring Training, it would have seemed very possible. It seems like a tougher fit now that teams have set their rosters.
If he goes unclaimed, he’ll be outrighted to Toledo, and the Tigers will still have his bat available if they want or need to make changes or injury fill-ins later on.