Lakeland, Fla. – Such is the business of baseball.
One minute Chad Smith is chatting with reporters, talking about how comfortable he is with the Tigers and how he'd hate to have to start over somewhere else. And the next, he's summoned into manager Brad Ausmus' office and told by president and general manager Dave Dombrowski that he's been claimed off waivers by Oakland.
"His contract has been signed over to Oakland," Dombrowski said. "We wished him well. We wished he would've made it through, but we had to take somebody off the roster at the time."
Smith, drafted by the Tigers in the 17th round in 2011, was designated for assignment on Tuesday after the re-signing of Joba Chamberlain. If Smith had cleared, he would have been outrighted to Triple-A Toledo, which Smith said would not have been the worst-case scenario.
"No, I really like it here," he said, before getting the news. "I am comfortable with everything. I know how everything works. You go to a new team and you have learn everything all over again.
"It might be the best thing for my career (to move on), but it wouldn't necessarily be the best thing for me personally."
Smith, a hard-throwing right-hander from Thousand Oaks, Calif., and USC, had a mostly forgettable Major League debut last season. In 10 games with the Tigers he allowed seven runs and 15 hits in 11.2 innings.
"I threw a lot of fastballs when I came up last year," he told The Detroit News last week. "The role I was in, it was kind of like we were either up by a lot or down by a lot; just go in there and throw strikes, get people out.
"It was one of things where I wasn't trying to protect my ERA."
Smith threw two bullpens and one side session with pitching coach Jeff Jones before he was designated.
"It's just one of the things that happen in the game," he said. "You just kind of hang with it and accept it for what it is."