Detroit — Joakim Soria is still a Tiger, but Andy Dirks is not.
Versatile Don Kelly has been outrighted to Triple A Toledo, as has pitcher Evan Reed, with both no doubt opting to become free agents instead — and left-handed relief pitcher Patrick McCoy has been claimed on waivers by Baltimore.
As expected, the Tigers also made qualifying offers to both Max Scherzer and Victor Martinez.
In other words, Friday was a busy day.
First of all, the club announced that it exercised its $7 million option on right-handed relief pitcher Joakim Soria. He is set to return to the Tigers in 2015 as an eighth-inning setup man for closer Joe Nathan.
The price tag for Soria wasn't cheap, especially considering his ineffectiveness so far as a Tiger, but they gave up a lot to get him (pitching prospects Corey Knebel and Jake Thompson) and truly believe he will be worth what it cost to keep him.
Limited to just 13 regular-season appearances as a Tiger because of a strained oblique, Soria went 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA after pitching much better than that for Texas (2.70 in 35 games) before the deal.
Soria also struggled mightily in his two appearances against Baltimore in the short-lived Division Series, going 0-1 with a 45.00 ERA (five runs allowed in one inning).
The Tigers did not face the same deadline with catcher Alex Avila, however. His $5.4 million option must be acted upon by Nov. 20.
Dirks, meanwhile, was made available on waivers — and was claimed by Toronto — because the Tigers still couldn't trust he'd be 100 percent next year.
"We wouldn't have let him go if we knew he would be," said Tigers' president and general manager Dave Dombrowski. "It wasn't an arbitration thing, or a contract thing, it was his health."
Dirks, who is arbitration eligible after earning $1.625 million, missed the entire 2014 season because of back surgery and the injuries that ensued during a rehab assignment.
A .322 hitter in 2012, before dropping to .256 in 2013, Dirks would have figured prominently in the Tigers' 2014 plans without the surgery — but they offset his loss by signing J.D. Martinez, a move that certainly worked out well for them.
McCoy was claimed by the Orioles after he had a 3.86 ERA in 14 games for the Tigers. Originally drafted by Washington in 2007, the 26-year-old was in the Detroit organization for only one year, but earned a call-up in June, and again in August, by compiling a 2.59 ERA at Toledo in 21 games.
Kelly, who played parts of six seasons with the Tigers, is a versatile player, and while valuing that quality in him, the Tigers acknowledged with this move that he simply didn't hit enough this season (.245, no home runs, seven RBIs in 163 at-bats).
Chances are, however, the Tigers would welcome him back as a Triple A player, as has happened before — giving him a base from which he might work his way back to major-league status.
Kelly will be 35 in February, though.
In a season complicated by his legal matters, Reed went 0-1 with a 4.18 ERA in 32 games.
The qualifying offers of $15.3 million to Scherzer and Martinez won't be accepted, of course, but they open the way for the Tigers to receive a draft choice as compensation if they sign with another club.
The two have until 5 p.m. on Nov. 10 to accept or decline the offers.
Additionally, the Tigers purchased the contract of outfielder Wynton Bernard from Single A West Michigan, which puts them at 36 on the 40-man roster – because they also reinstated four players from the 60-day disabled list: shortstop Jose Iglesias and pitchers Bruce Rondon, Luke Putkonen and Drew VerHagen.
Bernard, 24, hit .323 with 45 stolen bases while earning Midwest League Most Valuable Player honors at West Michigan. By adding him to the roster, the Tigers prevented him from possibly leaving the organization as a minor-league free agent.