The Tigers made a handful of roster moves today to prepare for the offseason. They are:
The Hollimon move isn’t surprising. He very may well still have a role in the organization. He has a 260/361/478 line in his minor league career which is solid for a middle infielder. He’s also 27 and has been injured much of the last 2 seasons meaning that he wasn’t going to get claimed.
The Matt Treanor announcement isn’t surprising either. Treanor will unfortunately finish his Tigers career without a hit but he does have the distinction of catching Rick Porcello’s debut.
Jay Sborz was eligible to become a minor league free agent and the Tigers evidently think he is close enough to helping to keep him in the fold. The second round pick in the 2003 draft struggled mightily his first 3 years in the organization but has progressed nicely since 2007 and he fanned 10.4 batters per 9 innings working out of the Erie bullpen in 2009.
That brings us to Marcus Thames. As an analyst I have to say letting Thames go is clearly the right move. He is limited defensively and his batting line as a 4th outfielder/DH was acceptable when he was making much less. For the Tigers to bring him back likely would have meant a $3 million investment. With younger players like Casper Wells, Clete Thomas, and Wilkin Ramirez likely to push for back up outfielder roles and Carlos Guillen and Magglio Ordonez sharing time at DH, there wasn’t a place for Thames. I thought the Tigers would hold on to him until closer to the tender deadline and perhaps include him as part of a trade, but there must have been little interest on that front.
That said, the fan in me is very sad to see Thames go. The homers were spectacular and surprisingly clutch. He was always on the outside looking in when it came to playing time but he never publicly complained and he always played his butt off. He’s also one of the few Tigers that I’ve had a chance to talk with on multiple occasions and he struck me as one of the genuinely nicest people you’ll meet. So I wish Thames all the best where ever he ends up.