DETROIT — You’ve heard plenty about the new Tigers. Torii Hunter, Brayan Pena, Matt Tuiasosopo — they’re all part of Detroit’s master plan for the 2013 season.
But what about the old Tigers? You know, the ones who no longer fit into the equation. The ones who have since moved on, some to greener pastures, a couple to Asia.
Here’s an up-to-date roundup of the 16 players that were spotted on Detroit’s active roster last year and have since parted ways:
Delmon Young, DH
2012: .267 AVG, .296 OBP, .707 OPS, 27 2B, 1 3B, 18 HR, 74 RBI.
Philadelphia Phillies: Young opened the season on the 15-day DL, but he’s expected to play three innings in the outfield today — his first action in the outfield since undergoing ankle surgery this past offseason. He signed a one-year, $750,000 contract with Philadelphia, but roster and performance bonuses could bring that value up to the $3.25 million range.
Gerald Laird, C
2012: .282 AVG, .337 OBP, .710 OPS, 8 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 11 RBI
Atlanta Braves: Laird was signed to be Brian McCann’s backup after David Ross left for a $6.2 million, two-year deal with Boston. He will get $3 million for his two-year deal, and could earn up to $750,000 in performance bonuses if he plays more than expected.
Brennan Boesch, OF
2012: .240 AVG, .286 OBP, .659 OPS, 22 2B, 2 3B, 12 HR, 54 RBI.
New York Yankees: Boesch signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with New York a few days after the Tigers gave him his unconditional release this spring. Looking for a fresh start, he could be part of a left-field platoon with the right-handed hitting Ben Francisco.
Jeff Baker, INF/OF
2012: .200 AVG, .243 OBP, .500 OPS, 2 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 4 RBI.
Texas Rangers: Baker signed a minor-league contract in late January and earned a spot on the Rangers’ Opening Day roster after batting .423 this spring. Baker, who was traded twice in a 26-day span last August, could’ve opted out of his contract had he not been on the 25-man roster.
Brad Eldred, DH
2012: .188 AVG, .235 OBP, .610 OPS, 1 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 1 RBI.
Hiroshima Carp, Japan: The Tigers released Eldred from their Triple-A Toledo roster last June, allowing the 31-year-old to sign with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp in Japan. And that’s where he is today. He hit a two-out, tiebreaking homer Sunday for Hiroshima.
Ryan Raburn, INF/OF
2012: .171 AVG, .226 OBP, .480 OPS, 14 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 12 RBI.
Cleveland Indians: The Tigers released Raburn in November, paving the way for Cleveland to sign him to a minor-league contract (with a spring big-league invite). After hitting .359 with four home runs 11 RBIs and a 1.274 OPS, Raburn earned a spot on the Indians’ 25-man roster as a bench player. He could reportedly get an extra $50,000 if he is named MVP of the 2013 World Series, according to a clause in his contract.
Omir Santos, C
2012: .125 AVG, .111 OBP, .236 OPS, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 1 RBI.
Cleveland Indians: Santos elected free agency after the Tigers designated him for assignment last June. He signed a minor-league deal with Colorado and was assigned to the club’s Triple-A affiliate. A free agent this past offseason, he signed a minor-league contract with the Indians, which included a spring training invite. He was optioned to Triple-A Columbus, where he is expected to serve as the backup catcher.
Brandon Inge, INF
2012: .100 AVG, .100 OBP, .400 OPS., 1 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 2 RBI.
Pittsburgh Pirates: For the second straight year, Inge will open the season on the disabled list. This year, he’s expected to be sidelined until early May with an incomplete fracture in his right scapula (shoulder blade). Inge signed a minor-league deal as a free agent with Pittsburgh and could have opted out of his deal if he hadn’t been added to the 40-man roster.
Matt Young, INF/OF
2012: .100 AVG, .182 OBP, .382 OPS, 1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 2 RBI.
Los Angeles Angels: Young played five games for the Tigers last season before being released in early August. He finished the season in the St. Louis Cardinals’ organization and was granted free agency at the end of the season. He signed a minor-league deal with the Angels in November and was assigned to their Triple-A affiliate in Salt Lake City.
Clete Thomas, OF
2012: .000 AVG, .000 OBP, .000 OPS, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI.
Minnesota Twins: Thomas was claimed by the Twins off waivers last April and still remains with the organization. Minnesota designated him for assignment last May, but he cleared waivers and was assigned to the Triple-A affiliate in Rochester, New York. He batted .280 with two doubles and two RBIs in 25 at-bats this spring before being reassigned to minor-league camp.
Thad Weber, RHP
2012: 0-1, 9.00 ERA, 4.0 IP, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO.
San Diego Padres: Weber was claimed by the Padres last August after he appeared in two games for Detroit. The 28-year-old rookie will report to Triple-A Tucson this season after he posted a 6.52 ERA in 9 2/3 innings pitched for the Padres this spring.
Jose Valverde, RHP
2012: 3-4, 3.78 ERA, 69.0 IP, 34 R, 29 ER, 27 BB, 48 SO.
Free agent: Valverde is arguably the best pitcher that remains unsigned. He is currently throwing bullpen sessions for teams in his native Dominican Republic and is consistently touching 93-94 mph, according to scouts’ radar guns. Valverde’s asking price remains unclear, but his agent, Scott Boras, said he is open to a one-year contract.
Adam Wilk, LHP
2012: 0-3, 8.18 ERA, 11.0 IP, 11 ER, 10 R, 3 BB, 7 SO.
NC Dinos, Korea: The Tigers released Wilk last December and sold his contract to a team in the Korean Baseball League, based in Changwon. He made three starts for the Tigers in 2012 and went 0-3 with a 6.66 ERA in eight career appearances.
Daniel Schlereth, LHP
2012: 0-0, 10.29 ERA, 7.0 IP, 10 R, 8 ER, 5 BB, 6 SO.
Baltimore Orioles: The Orioles signed Schlereth to a minor-league contract in December and invited him to take part in spring training. The Tigers declined to tender him a contract by the deadline last November, which — in turn — made him a free agent. He posted a 10.29 ERA in seven innings pitched, giving up nine runs — eight earned — in seven appearances this spring before the Orioles reassigned him to minor-league camp.
Jacob Turner, RHP
2012: 1-1, 8.03 ERA, 12.1 IP, 11 R, 11 ER, 7 BB, 7 SO.
Miami Marlins: Turner was expected to open the season in Miami’s rotation, but a rocky spring has relegated him to opening the season in Triple-A New Orleans after he was optioned last week. His Grapefruit League ERA was 9.69 with nine walks and five strikeouts in 13 innings.
Collin Balester, RHP
2012: 2-0, 6.50 ERA, 18.0 IP, 14 R, 13 ER, 11 BB, 12 SO.
Texas Rangers: Balester signed a minor-league contract with the Rangers in late November, which included an invitation to spring training. He didn’t crack the Opening Day roster, but the Rangers still have big plans for Balester, shifting him to the rotation at Triple-A Round Rock, even though he was a reliever for the Tigers and in spring training.
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