The Tigers have claimed infielder Andy Ibáñez off waivers from the Rangers, according to announcements from both teams. Detroit also outrighted six players — infielders Jermaine Palacios and Luis Garcia, right-handers Elvin Rodríguez, Bryan Garcia and Luis Castillo and outfielder Víctor Reyes — off their 40-man roster. After reinstating all their players from the injured list, Detroit has a full 40-man roster.
Ibáñez was Texas’ Opening Day starter at third base in 2022. He’d earned a look from the Rangers after hitting .277/.321/.435 through his first 76 big league games in 2021. The Cuban-born infielder looked like a viable late-blooming utilityman, but his offense dropped this year. Ibáñez hit .218/.273/.277 over 128 MLB plate appearances, connecting on just one home run. He had a better but still unimposing .255/.330/.390 mark over 315 plate appearances at Triple-A Round Rock.
Tough season aside, Ibáñez does have quality bat-to-ball skills and a typically solid track record of upper minors performance. He’s a career .288/.358/.456 hitter through parts of four Triple-A seasons. He’ll be 30 at the start of next season but has yet to reach arbitration and still has a minor league option year remaining. Ibáñez can play first, second or third base and adds a contact-focused depth infielder to the Tigers organization.
Of the players coming off the roster, Reyes is the most notable. He’s played parts of five seasons with the Tigers, tallying a personal-high 336 plate appearances in 2022. The switch-hitting outfielder put up a .254/.289/.362 mark with just three homers. He’s capable of defending all three outfield spots but has consistently provided below-average offense. Projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz for a $2.2MM salary for his penultimate season of arbitration eligibility, he proved a fairly straightforward non-tender for first-year president of baseball operations Scott Harris.
Rodríguez debuted this year and started five of seven games. He surrendered a 10.62 ERA through 29 2/3 innings, posting a 4.98 mark over 99 1/3 innings with Triple-A Toledo. Bryan Garcia had spent his entire career as a reliever until 2022, when he took a few starts late in the year for an injury-battered rotation. He had a 3.80 ERA over 85 1/3 innings with the Mud Hens. Castillo, a 27-year-old reliever, made his first three big league appearances this year after posting a 1.74 ERA in 40 games for Toledo.
Palacios and Luis Garcia, meanwhile, never suited up for the Tigers. Palacios played in 30 games for the Twins, and Detroit nabbed the infielder off waivers from their division rivals after the end of the season. Garcia was once an interesting prospect in the Phillies farm system, but his bat stalled out in High-A this year. He has very little Double-A experience. Detroit claimed him late in the season but it always looked likely they’d try to run through waivers at some point.
Luis Garcia will remain in the organization without occupying a 40-man roster spot. Palacios, Bryan Garcia, Rodríguez, Castillo and Reyes all have the requisite service time to refuse an outright assignment and test minor league free agency.