The Tigers have signed right-hander Heath Hembree to a minor league deal, according to his transactions tracker at MLB.com. He elected free agency last week after being outrighted by the Rays. He’s been assigned to the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens.
This is the third relief pitcher the Tigers have added today, as they also signed left-hander Sam Clay to a minor league deal and claimed right-hander Braden Bristo off waivers from the Rays. Those three will give the club some extra depth arms in Toledo to be potentially called upon when needed.
Hembree, 34, was a fixture of the Boston bullpen for many years. From 2016 to 2019, he made at least 38 appearances in every one of those seasons with his ERA finishing between 2.65 and 4.20 in each. He struck out 25.8% of batters faced in that time against an 8.6% walk rate while racking up a couple of saves and 43 holds.
Since then, he’s worn many different jerseys as he’s become a well-traveled journeyman. From 2020 to 2022, he went from the Sox to the Phillies, Mets, Reds, Pirates and Dodgers. This winter, he signed a minor league deal with the Rays and got selected to the big league club last week but was designated for assignment the very next day. He managed to make one scoreless appearances of an inning and a third during his brief stay on the roster.
Hembree cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A but rejected that in favor of a return to the open market. Any player with a previous career outright or more than three years of service time has that right, both of which apply to Hembree. He’ll now head to Toledo and try to earn his way back to the big leagues and add yet another new jersey to his collection.
Motor City Beach Bum
Tigers are on a roll. Just not the kind of roll we want!
Still have a better record than the White Sox.
How long until the kapler to detroit reunion? 2024? 2025? We should have left him in CDMX
Harris churning the back end of the roster again. The way back end so to speak. Need some AAA depth, Rosenthal has not pitched much this year due to injury and has another opt out date coming. Also who knows, maybe they can turn into something better that we have on the big club. Bullpen has mostly been better as of late, but then Shreve gives up a 5 spot recently to lose a game for us. So few if any of our BP arms should feel secure in their jobs.
For Love of the Game
Yeah, anyone not named Lange, Foley, or Vest might want to keep their getaway bag packed. Maybe Holton. Englert and Alexander in long roles. The rest can be reshuffled until they find someone that works.
The real news is that Austin meadows has been moved to the 60 day DL. He may not be back this year, but will get his $4+ million.
I secretly wonder if he simply does not want to play for the Tigers. I guess it’s not a secret anymore…. But, this issue has never been openly documented. He went from this injury to that injury, and finally to anxiety, and had hardly played since. Not saying he is feigning crippling anxiety, but there are some things that make me wonder.
The way Tampa Bay uses, abuses, then discards pitchers like yesterday’s trash is quite remarkable.
I like the hitter’s he’s brought in. I love this sense of urgency in the Tiger’s trying to find youthful hitter’s with pitcher’s who’ve seen action before. At least 3 hitting spots opens up next year, and the pitching is up for grabs as well. I’ll be shocked if E rod don’t opt out next year if he’s not injured. That game where he’s no hitting them, but the Tigers are not doing anything either was brutal. With salaries up, he’s gone, but maybe the Tigers can move him to a contender for someone good ?
This coming series will be UGE. Next year with so much money freed up it’ll be interesting to see what happens. The draft this year promises a front line player with the first pick this year, and quick too. That’s going to be fun no matter who Harris picks, the howling will be on. A lot of good guys to pick from.
To your comment on money being freed up. I don’t expect to see a lot of spending on the Tigers part. We are still in rebuild and still a long ways from the playoffs.