The Tigers announced that they have claimed left-hander Sean Guenther off waivers from the Marlins. He was on the 60-day injured list and remains there for now. Additionally, the Marlins have outrighted right-hander Paul Campbell and lefty Jake Fishman, per Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald.
At this time of year, many teams are facing roster crunches with no injured list between the World Series and Spring Training. Players on the 60-day IL, like Guenther, don’t count against a team’s 40-man count but will soon need to retake spots. Furthermore, the deadline for adding players to the roster in order to protect them from being selected in the Rule 5 draft is November 15. Given those pressures, some teams are trying to proactively clear some space in anticipation of those upcoming choke points. It seems that the Marlins placed these three hurlers on waivers in recent days, losing one of them to Detroit.
Guenther, 27 in December, missed the entire 2022 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in April. Given the general 12-18 month recovery time for TJS, he’ll miss at least part of the 2023 season as well but could return for a portion of it. He made his MLB debut in 2021 and put up an unfortunate 9.30 ERA in 20 1/3 innings. He was much better in the minors, however, as he tossed 40 1/3 innings with a 3.12 ERA, 34% strikeout rate, 4.4% walk rate and 47.2% ground ball rate.
Those are certainly intriguing numbers, even if he has yet to translate them to the big leagues. It makes sense for the Tigers to be interested, especially since he’s not currently costing them a roster spot. However, as mentioned, the IL will be going away in a few days. Given the large number of injuries suffered by Tigers this year, Roster Resource currently counts 48 guys on the 40-man roster, with that number factoring in free agency departures. It’s possible that Guenther ends up back on waivers again in a few days, alongside several other Tigers. If he were to pass through unclaimed at that point, the Tigers would be able to keep him around as depth without him taking up a roster spot.
Campbell, 27, was drafted by the Rays but went to the Marlins in the 2020 Rule 5 draft. In 2021, he missed time after being given an 80-game PED suspension, with Campbell issuing a statement refuting the results of the test. He eventually returned and finished the season with a 6.41 ERA over 26 2/3 innings. In 2022, he was placed on the IL in April due to an elbow strain and never returned. He can stick around the Marlins’ organization as a depth arm without occupying a roster spot.
Fishman, 28 in February, was on and off the Marlins roster this year. He was selected to the roster on three separate occasions, with the first two both resulting in a DFA after a few days, followed by clearing waivers and being outrighted. He managed to throw 11 MLB innings with a 4.09 ERA, while also tossing 56 frames in Triple-A with a 2.25 ERA, 23.1% strikeout rate, 8.5% walk rate and 54.2% ground ball rate. Due to the fact that he’s been previously outrighted in his career, he has the right to reject this assignment and elect free agency, though it’s unclear whether he’s chosen to do so or not.