TODAY, 5:12pm: The Tigers have also outrighted catcher Bryan Holaday and first baseman Efren Navarro. Both are eligible to decline the assignments and instead elect free agency, though they’ll qualify for minor-league free agency in a few days regardless.
Holaday, 29, saw brief action for the Tigers this year and spent most of the season at Triple-A. He slashed .269/.325/.450 over 347 plate appearances at Toledo and will certainly land somewhere as a depth option. As for the 31-year-old Navarro, it was much the same story. He saw 557 plate appearances at Triple-A, posting a .276/.370/.395 batting line.
The 25-year-old Jaye cracked the bigs for the first time, but received a rude welcome. In 12 2/3 frames, including two starts and three relief appearances, he was tagged for 17 earned runs and managed just four strikeouts against ten walks. That said, Jaye has been a steadier option in the upper minors; in 25 starts in the Detroit system in 2017, he compiled 131 2/3 innings of 3.96 ERA ball with 7.9 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9.
As for Ryan, 26, he has thrown 128 MLB innings over the past four seasons and was rather effective in 2016. But he struggled badly in just eight major league appearances in the 2017 campaign. In his 45 1/3 Triple-A frames, Ryan managed only a 4.96 ERA with 7.7 K/9 and 5.4 BB/9.
1:43pm: The Tigers announced that they have formally declined their $16MM club option on right-hander Anibal Sanchez, opting instead for a $5MM buyout. Additionally, the Tigers announced that right-hander Jeff Ferrell and outfielders Tyler Collins, Jim Adduci and Alex Presley have been outrighted off the 40-man roster after clearing waivers. Each can become a free agent. Detroit also added that utilityman Andrew Romine was claimed off waivers by the Mariners, as Seattle had announced.
The 33-year-old Sanchez signed a five-year, $80MM contract with the Tigers that spanned the 2013-17 seasons and turned in a sensational campaign in the first year of that deal. In 182 innings that year, Sanchez captured the American League ERA title with a mark of 2.57, averaging 10.0 K/9 against 2.7 BB/9 along the way. He finished fourth in the AL Cy Young voting and was worth roughly six wins above replacement per both fWAR and rWAR. Though he was limited to 126 innings in 2014, Sanchez was again quite good, logging a 3.43 ERA with improved control but diminished strikeouts.
Since contributing about nine wins’ worth of value in those first two seasons, though, the Sanchez contract has been regrettable for the Tigers. He’s logged a total of 415 2/3 innings in that time and surrendered 262 earned runs (5.67 ERA) on the strength of 462 hits (85 homers) and 131 walks. Sanchez still shows a penchant for missing bats (8.2 K/9 over the final three years of the deal, 8.9 K/9 in 2017), but his ground-ball rate has eroded and he’s become stunningly homer prone.
Collins, 27, showed promise back in 2015 when he hit .266/.316/.417 in 207 plate appearances as a 25-year-old, but his bat has tailed off since that time. In 2016-17, he’s managed just a .213/.291/.357 line through 320 trips to the plate. He struggled enormously in Triple-A in 2016 as well, though he bounced back with a strong .288/.358/.462 slash there in 296 PAs this season.
Presley, 32, posted a very solid .314/.354/.416 with three homers and five steals through 264 PAs. A veteran of eight big league seasons, Presley hasn’t settled in as a regular with one organization but has found his way onto a 25-man roster in each of the past eight campaigns. Since 2011, he’s averaged 211 MLB plate appearances per season and batted .263/.306/.390 in the process. He shouldn’t have much trouble finding an opportunity to head to camp and compete for a roster spot in 2018.
Adduci, also 32, returned from a strong stint in the Korea Baseball Organization this year and made his way to the Tigers’ big league roster, where he batted .241/.323/.398 in 93 PAs. Adduci has just 241 big league PAs, which have resulted in a .209/.283/.302 slash.
Ferrell will turn 27 in three weeks and just wrapped up his first full season back from Tommy John surgery. He has a career 6.53 ERA in 20 2/3 big league innings but owns strong K/BB numbers in a limited sample of 65 2/3 innings in Triple-A. Ferrell has averaged better than 93 mph on his fastball in the big leagues and otherwise relies primarily on a changeup for his secondary offering.