Detroit — The Victor Reyes era in Detroit might be over.
Reyes, the former Rule 5 pick who spent the last five seasons with the Tigers, was among a group of six players waived and outrighted to Triple-A Thursday. That list includes pitchers Bryan Garcia, Luis Castillo and Elvin Rodriguez, and infielders Luis Garcia and Jermaine Palacios.
Of that group, Reyes, Bryan Garcia, Castillo, Rodriguez and Palacios were expected to explore minor-league free agency.
The moves were made, in part, to clear roster space for the reinstatement of 10 players from the 60-day injured list – pitchers Beau Brieske, Kyle Funkhouser, Rony Garcia, Matt Manning, Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal, Spencer Turnbull and Sean Guenther, plus catcher Jake Rogers and outfielder Austin Meadows.
Reyes had some big moments with the Tigers, including a pair of walk-off hits last season. The switch-hitter played all three outfield positions, ran the bases well and had one of the best throwing arms on the team.
But his offense never developed as the club hoped. Even as his body grew bigger and stronger, the power and production didn’t follow. In 394 games and 1,280 plate appearances, he slashed .264/.294/.379, with a well-below-MLB-average 85 OPS-plus. With minimal power numbers (16 total home runs) and run production (107 total RBI) coupled with a high chase rate (41%) and a low walk rate (3.9), he didn’t fit the offensive profile that new team president of baseball operations Scott Harris is looking for.
Reyes, 28, made $1.4 million last year and was going into his second year of arbitration. Industry projections (MLB Trade Rumors) estimated his arbitration ceiling at $2.2 million.
The Tigers also added another veteran infielder to the roster Thursday, claiming Cuban-born Andy Ibanez off waivers from the Texas Rangers.
He was the Rangers’ Opening Day third baseman last season, but his offensive production waned severely. He hit just .170 with two extra-base hits from May 4 to June 7 when he was optioned back to Triple-A. But his plate discipline and bat-to-ball skills were impressive: 16% strikeout rate, 27% chase rate, 81% contact rate on all swings.
He will be 30 next season and has one minor-league option left.