The Tigers announced that catcher Donny Sands has cleared waivers. He was outrighted to Triple-A Toledo and will remain in the organization without occupying a spot on the 40-man roster.
Detroit acquired Sands alongside Nick Maton and Matt Vierling in last offseason’s trade sending Gregory Soto and Kody Clemens to Philadelphia. While Maton and Vierling saw a decent amount of action at Comerica Park, Sands spent the year in the minors. Outside of four appearances in Double-A, he played with Toledo all season.
Over 89 games for the Mud Hens, the 27-year-old had a .225/.318/.353 batting line. He homered only five times in 371 plate appearances, although his 12.1% walk rate and 19.9% strikeout percentage were each better than average. The lack of impact on batted balls made 2023 a disappointing showing, well below the .308/.413/.428 slash he’d managed with the Phillies’ Triple-A team the year before.
Sands has three games of big league experience, all of which came with the Phils in 2022. He’ll likely get a look in big league camp as a non-roster invitee. Detroit has Jake Rogers and Carson Kelly as the MLB catching duo. Prospect Dillon Dingler was added to the 40-man roster in November to keep him out of the Rule 5 draft. Dingler didn’t hit well in his first crack at Triple-A, so Sands may still be Detroit’s top depth option if either Rogers or Kelly suffer an injury.