The Tigers announced that they have claimed right-hander Seth Elledge off waivers from the Mets and optioned him to Triple-A Toledo. The Mets had designated him for assignment on the weekend. In order to open a spot for Elledge on their 40-man roster, the Tigers transferred right-hander Beau Brieske to the 60-day injured list.
Elledge, who turns 27 on Saturday, has changed uniforms a few times in recent years. He got to the majors with the Cardinals in 2020 and 2021 but was outrighted at the end of that latter season and signed a minor league deal with Atlanta. He spent 2022 with the Triple-A Gwinnett Stripers and impressed enough to get added to Atlanta’s 40-man roster at season’s end. He was optioned to the minors again to start this year but was designated for assignment in early April, getting claimed by the Mets, who also put him on waivers about a month later.
Amid all of those roster moves, he’s made 10 Triple-A appearances on the year with a 6.75 ERA in 14 2/3 innings, striking out 21.1% of batters faced against a 14.1% walk rate. He was much better last year, posting a 3.88 ERA in a larger sample of 46 1/3 innings. He struck out 33.7% of opponents on the season while walking just 8.6%. Though he’s out to a slow start this year, it’s understandable why clubs keep finding roster room for him based on last year’s results and the fact that he still has a couple of options remaining. He also has that small bit of major league experience, tossing 23 1/3 innings for the Cards with a 4.63 ERA. The Tigers have a couple of relievers on the injured list in Freddy Pacheco and Trey Wingenter, so Elledge can head to Toledo to give them a bit of extra depth.
As for Brieske, he’s been on the injured list all year due to a right ulnar nerve entrapment and hasn’t even begun a rehab assignment. This move will make him ineligible to return until 60 days from his initial IL placement, which was March 27, meaning he could technically come back next week if he were healthy. But there’s nothing to indicate a return that soon is on the table, making this move a fairly inevitable formality.