The Tigers kicked off the off-season by announcing several moves today. The biggest one being the removal of Marcus Thames from the 40 man roster. Catcher Matt Treanor, who spent most of the season on the disabled list after undergoing hip surgery, was also taken of the roster. Both will become free agents. In other moves reliever Joel Zumaya and first baseman Jeff Larish were reinstated from the 60 day disabled list and infielder Mike Hollimon was outrighted to Toledo. They also purchased the contract of pitcher Jay Sborz
I was not expecting Thames back but I was a little surprised to see him go so quickly. I had guessed that they would try to trade him before the non-tender deadline. He's getting a little expensive for what he offers though so maybe there was no market for him. What he offers is excellent power (one homer per 15.3 career at bats) but he doesn't get on base much and is not a good defender. With Ryan Raburn taking on the role of fourth outfielder and Casper Wells, Wilkin Ramirez and Clete Thomas battling for playing time, there was really no room for Thames.
Hollimon still has a chance to win a utility role some year but he is 27 years old and has had a difficult time staying healthy so this move was not surprising. He has a lifetime OPS of .839 in the minors which is very good for a middle infielder.
Sborz, the second round pick in the 2003 draft, is a fire balling reliever who could fit into the bullpen as early as next year. He has 257 strikeouts in 253 career innings but has always battled control problems (5.7 BB per 9 innings lifetime).