Tigers claim utility player Jermaine Palacios, cut righty Drew Hutchison

Detroit Free Press

After a couple moves to the front office, Detroit Tigers president of baseball operations Scott Harris has completed his first roster transactions since taking over day-to-day operations of the club last week.

The Tigers claimed utility infielder Jermaine Palacios off waivers from the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday, and in another move, right-hander Drew Hutchison was designated for assignment for the third time in 2022.

Palacios, 26, made his MLB debut in May.

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The Twins signed Palacios out of Venezuela in 2014, but he was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in February 2018 in exchange for right-hander Jake Ordorizzi. After two seasons with the Rays, Palacios became a minor-league free agent and returned to the Twins ahead of the 2021 campaign.

In 2022, Palacios reached the Triple-A level. He hit .283 with 14 home runs, 34 walks and 102 strikeouts in 102 games, posting 12 stolen bases (in 21 attempts), a 7.9% walk rate and a .341 on-base percentage.

But Palacios struggled upon his MLB promotion.

He collected 10 hits in 70 at-bats, for a .143 batting average, while working four walks compared to 27 strikeouts in 30 games. Both of his extra-base hits went for home runs. The Twins called him up in May and September, believing he could be a serviceable utility player.

Palacios, who has minor-league options remaining, played four positions in the majors: 14 games (12 starts) at shortstop, 12 games (six starts) at second base, one game at third base and on game at first base. In Triple-A, he added experience in left field and right field.

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Hutchison, 32, has been designated for assignment by the Tigers four times since the 2021 season: August 2021, May 2022, June 2022 and October 2022. This season, the seven-year MLB veteran logged a 4.53 ERA with 42 walks and 68 strikeouts across 105⅓ innings in 28 games (18 starts).

Hutchison stepped up when the Tigers needed him to eat innings, but he doesn’t throw enough strikes and the team avoids paying him a projected $1.8 million in salary arbitration.

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