Detroit Tigers waive Anthony Castro, creating roster spot for Rule 5 MLB draft pick

Detroit Free Press

Evan Petzold
| Detroit Free Press

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The Detroit Tigers have waived right-handed reliever Anthony Castro to make room on the 40-man roster for the upcoming Rule 5 draft, the team announced Monday.

Castro, who made his MLB debut in the 2020 season, was claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays. The 25-year-old was the Tigers’ No. 17 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.

The Rule 5 draft takes place at the conclusion of the virtual winter meetings on Thursday, and the Tigers have the No. 3 pick. By waiving Castro, the 40-man roster has been trimmed to 39 players.

[ What to expect from Tigers as MLB’s 2020 winter meetings begin ]

In Castro’s lone appearance for the Tigers, he gave up two runs on one hit and one walk in one inning. His debut came in the ninth inning of a 14-6 loss to the Kansas City Royals on July 27 at Comerica Park.

He tossed 102⅓ innings for Double-A Erie in 2019, registering a 4.40 ERA, 1.368 WHIP, 116 strikeouts and 65 walks. That year, he pitched in 27 games (18 starts).

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Castro signed with the Tigers in July 2011, made his professional debut as a 17-year-old in 2012 and has spent seven seasons in the minors. He missed the entire 2015 season because of Tommy John surgery. During his minor-league career, he accumulated a 3.48 ERA, 521 strikeouts and 248 walks in 556⅔ innings.

Expect Castro to compete for a bullpen role with the Blue Jays in spring training, but he will likely end up in Double-A or Triple-A to begin the 2021 season. Last year, the Tigers placed Castro on the 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 draft.

The Rule 5 draft gives teams an opportunity to select an unprotected player from a different organization. To choose a player, the drafting team must make a $100,000 payment to the player’s former ballclub.

For subscribers: How Rule 5 draft pick Victor Reyes went from castoff to ‘valuable’ in Tigers’ rebuild

This player must remain on the new team’s active roster for the entire 2021 season — examples include outfielder Victor Reyes in 2018 and right-hander Rony Garcia in 2020 — or be offered back to his former organization for $50,000. After staying in the majors for a full season, the player can be sent to the minors.

Evan Petzold is a sports reporting intern at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.

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