Tigers Release Pelfrey; Final moves coming
The Tigers say they have released veteran right-hander Mike Pelfrey. Pelfrey is owed $8 million this year, the second year of a two-year contract. Pelfrey was signed as a free agent from Minnesota, but struggled in his first season with the Tigers. He pitched well at times this spring, but not well enough.
The Tigers sent eight players out on Wednesday, as they work to get their roster down to 25 for opening day. With J.D. Martinez on the disabled list (DL), they need to cut two more players. That’s not going to be easy.
Here's my prediction:
The Tigers will not be able to keep Rule 5 pitcher Daniel Stumpf on the major league roster. They’ll take advantage of a new rule and put Daniel Norris or Michael Fulmer on the 10-day DL to delay the second cut. (They won’t need five starters right away.) Once Martinez comes back, Matook could be gone, and the Tigers still have options on Shane Greene and Bruce Rondon for the final cut, or an injury could play into the decision.
As for the latest round of cuts:
- Veteran infielder Omar Infante hit .359 this spring, but still finds himself looking for a job. Infante can sign with any team that wants him, or accept a contract with the Toledo Mud Hens.
- Outfielder Steven Moya was placed on waivers. If no other team claims the 25 year old power hitter, he could end up back in Toledo.
- Veteran minor league outfielder Alex Presley played well but was cut.
- Relief pitchers Angel Nesbitt and Blaine Hardy and were sent down. Kyle Ryan will make the team as the second lefty out of the bullpen, even though Hardy pitched well.
The most likely cut is pitcher Daniel Stumpf. Lefty Stumpf is a Rule 5 guy, and could also be lost if sent down, unless the Tigers work out a deal with the Royals to keep him. If they like him enough, they could offer another player to Kansas City for the right to keep him. The Tigers did that a few years ago to keep Kyle Lobstein.
Infielder Dixon Machado is out of options, and could be lost to the organization if he doesn’t make the team. The same is true of outfielder Tyler Collins. Both are expected to make the team. It looks like JaCoby Jones will be the Tigers’ new center fielder, at least to start the season. Outfielder Mikie Matook could make the team, for now, with Martinez on the DL. That still leaves one player to be cut, sooner or later. I'm betting later.