Detroit — There were several factors that led to the Tigers placing popular super-utility player Andrew Romine on waivers.
Romine was claimed by the Seattle Mariners on Thursday, thus ending his four-year stint in Detroit.
In his final game as a Tiger, on Sept. 30, Romine became the fifth player in history to play all nine positions in a game. He was the primary defensive replacement at third base and first base, the back-up middle infielder and played all three outfield positions last season.
But, ultimately, the Tigers decided carrying an extra utility player, which they had the last two seasons, was a luxury they could not afford at the start of a rebuilding phase.
According to MLBTrade.com, Romine was likely to be awarded $1.9 million if he went to arbitration.
With shortstop Jose Iglesias, also arbitration-eligible ($5.6 million), and second baseman Ian Kinsler ($10 million), plus the club’s hopes of expanding the role of middle infielder Dixon Machado, the club felt Romine was expendable.
“It was important for us to protect at this time some of our young roster guys,” general manager Al Avila said. “We're really counting each and every roster spot needed to protect some young players. Not to mention the fact, we do want to add a pitcher or two.”
The Tigers on Thursday also outrighted outfielders Alex Presley, Tyler Collins and Jim Adduci. All three will be free agents. The Tigers likely are to try and re-sign Presley, who hit a career-best .314 last season.
The Tigers also outrighted right-handed reliever Jeff Ferrell.
Romine hit .236 in four seasons in Detroit. This past season he set career-highs in RBIs (25), doubles (17) and home runs (four).
There are currently 34 players on the Tigers’ 40-man roster.