The Tigers informed corner infielder Renato Núñez he won’t make the Opening Day roster, Cody Stavenhagen of the Athletic was among those to note. Núñez has been in camp as a non-roster invitee. The 26-year-old has the ability to opt out of his minor-league contract if he’d like to explore other opportunities.
The Orioles non-tendered Núñez over the offseason, a move that surprised some onlookers because he hit a team-leading 43 home runs between 2019-20. When considering Núñez’s on-base and defensive shortcomings, though, it wasn’t particularly shocking. That he couldn’t find a major-league contract on the open market is further affirmation teams have increasingly devalued this type of player in recent seasons.
Still, Núñez would certainly attract interest if he exercises his opt-out clause. He is coming off a year with a strong .256/.324/.492 slash line. There should be no shortage of teams that would like to add him to the organization, even if only on another minor-league deal.
In other Tigers’ roster news, manager A.J. Hinch announced that Rule 5 pick Akil Baddoo will make the Opening Day roster. Selected out of the Twins’ organization, Baddoo has yet to play above High-A but is now in line to make his major league debut. He’ll need to stick on the active roster (or MLB injured list) all season if the Tigers want to retain his rights long-term.
Joe Jiménez, meanwhile, will not be on the active roster to start the year. The Tigers announced they’ve optioned the right-hander to the alternate training site. Jiménez is a formerly well-regarded relief prospect, but he hasn’t found consistent success at the major league level. Last season, he pitched to a 7.15 ERA/4.10 SIERA over 22.2 innings.