Tigers claim Astros reliever, DFA Ezequiel Carrera
Detroit – The Tigers made a few under-the-radar moves Thursday, maxing out their 40-man roster.
The latest might be most notable: They claimed right-handed reliever Josh Zeid, a former 10th-round draft pick, off waivers from the Houston Astros.
Zeid, 27, is one of several flyer moves the Tigers have tried to help improve the bullpen. He's pitched in 48 games over the last two seasons, posting a 5.21 ERA. He was better in 2013, with a 3.90 ERA and a 1.373 WHIP.
To make room for Zeid, who's 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds, the Tigers designated for assignment speedy outfielder Ezequiel Carrera. Signed as a minor-league free agent last winter, Carrera, 27, dominated Triple A, but didn't contribute much after his callup to Detroit.
Earlier Thursday, the Tigers added right-hander Angel Nesbitt and infielder Dixon Machado to the 40-man roster, meaning they are protected from being picked in the Rule 5 draft in San Diego next month.
Interestingly, the Tigers didn't protect veteran reliever Joel Hanrahan, 33, who's signed on a minor-league contract and might be appealing to clubs looking for bullpen help. He had Tommy John surgery in May 2013.
Nesbitt and Machado both split 2014 between Single-A Lakeland and Double-A Erie, Nesbitt, 23, finding his niche as a closer, and Machado, 22, rediscovering his offensive stroke after Tigers brass had been souring on him.