LAS VEGAS – The Detroit Tigers have reached one of three important dates.
On Thursday, the Tigers had to reinstate players from the 60-day injured list and return them 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 non-tender deadline is Friday.
“These decisions are really tough, especially for me,” Scott Harris, president of baseball operations, said Tuesday at the general manager’s meetings. “I don’t know these players like most presidents know their players. I rely on a lot of people who have been here for a while.”
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The Tigers entered the offseason 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 returned to the 40-man roster.
To do this, the Tigers were forced to make several cuts. Six players were cut from the 40-man roster, cleared of waivers and transferred 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 have been eligible for arbitration for a second time this season, is expected to decline a permanent assignment to Triple-A Toledo in favor of free agency. He was slated for $2.2 million in salary arbitration, according to MLB Trade rumors.
The 28-year-old, acquired by the Tigers in the 2017 Rule 5 draft, can decline the minor-league assignment because he has more than three years of MLB service. He hit .264 with 49 walks and 287 strikeouts in 394 games spanning five seasons.
Brian Garcia may turn down the assignment to Toledo and opt for free agency as well, because he’s been out of sorts in the past. He played 76 games over parts of four MLB seasons. The Tigers selected him in the sixth round of the 2016 draft.
Castillo, Rodriguez and Palacios can become minor league free agents, while Luis Garcia — a 22-year-old former top prospect ineligible for free agency in the minors — will remain with the organization.
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The Tigers’ 40-man roster is currently 40 players. The Tigers will need to clear additional cap space 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 over parts of three seasons — was claimed off waivers by the Baltimore Orioles and infielder Josh Lester was waived and ordered to Triple-A Toledo.
The Tigers’ 40-man roster as of 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 in the Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tiger 40-man roster: Victor Reyes among 6 players cut