José Cisnero, placed on waivers by Detroit Tigers, stays positive despite uncertain future

Detroit Free Press

Right-handed reliever José Cisnero could be joining a new team soon.

The Detroit Tigers placed Cisnero, a seven-year MLB veteran and a free agent after this season, on waivers before Tuesday’s game against the New York Yankees at Comerica Park.

“It’s something that I can’t control,” Cisnero said Wednesday. “It didn’t affect me as many people would think.”

Teams have until Thursday to claim him, and if claimed, the 34-year-old will be eligible to pitch for his new team in the postseason. Claims are awarded in reverse order of winning percentage.

“There’s no awkwardness for him being here,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said before Wednesday’s game. “That’s all created by a confidential process that turned unconfidential. … He’s been here a long time and unfortunately had to answer questions about something that he should never have to deal with.”

LIVING LEGENDS: Former Tigers teammates Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander show respect in finale

Cisnero is making $2.29 million in the 2023 season, with roughly $438,000 still owed over the Tigers’ final 31 games. If Cisnero is claimed off waivers, his new team will pay the remainder of his salary.

If Cisnero goes unclaimed, the Tigers can choose to keep him on their 26-man and 40-man rosters, or he can be designated for assignment. Cisnero said he found out Tuesday night — likely after Tuesday’s 4-2 loss to the Yankees — that the Tigers placed him on waivers.

Miguel Cabrera, Cisnero’s locker-room neighbor, chimed in with a more detailed timeline. The Tigers finished Tuesday’s game as the clock struck 9 p.m., roughly three hours after The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal first reported Cisnero — among other players — had been placed on waivers.

“Around 9 p.m.,” Cabrera said.

Several non-contending teams, some doing so in an attempt to save money, placed players on waivers before Tuesday evening because of the Sept. 1 cutoff for players to be eligible for the postseason with contending teams.

The Los Angeles Angels put six players — starter Lucas Giolito, relievers Matt Moore, Reynaldo López and Dominic Leone and outfielders Hunter Renfroe and Randal Grichuk — on waivers, while the Yankees did so with outfielder Harrison Bader, the Chicago White Sox did so with starter Mike Clevinger and the New York Mets did so with starter Carlos Carrasco.

Bader, in the final season of a two-year contract, started in center field for the Yankees on Tuesday against the Tigers. He was slated to start in center Wednesday in the third of four games at Comerica Park.

NOTEBOOK: Why Tigers are turning to Joey Wentz to pitch Wednesday (but not start)

Cisnero has a 5.36 ERA with 20 walks and 56 strikeouts over 48⅔ innings in 54 relief appearances in the 2023 season.

“I’m focused on working hard, as usual,” Cisnero said. “Doing my best, giving my 100% and finishing at a high rate for the Tigers.”

The Tigers did not move Cisnero at the Aug. 1 trade deadline.

“I’ve known these guys for a long time,” Cisnero said. “I’ve been here for a while. Regardless of that, I just took it in a nice way and cool-headed because I didn’t want it to affect me as much as could be possible.”

Cisnero has pitched in 213 of his 246 career games as a Tiger, from 2019-23. He has a 3.77 ERA with 99 walks (11.3% walk rate) and 215 strikeouts (24.5% strikeout rate) over 200⅓ innings in his Detroit tenure.

His 2023 season plummeted with a terrible 20-game stretch. Since July 1, Cisnero has an 11.21 ERA (22 earned runs) with eight walks and 22 strikeouts across 17⅔ innings, allowing 29 hits.

“I told him, ‘Be ready to pitch tonight.’ That’s all he can control,” Hinch said, “and that’s all he’s going to do. The business side of the business sometimes gets a little bit different than the competition side.”

In 54 games with the Tigers, Cisnero has tossed 38.8% four-seam fastballs, 19.7% sinkers, 17.7% sliders, 14.5% cutters and 9.5% changeups. His fastball is averaging 95.9 mph, and his slider has a 29% whiff rate.

The Tigers signed Cisnero to a minor-league contract in November 2018. He previously appeared in 33 games over two seasons (2013-14) with the Houston Astros.

Contact Evan Petzold at or follow him @EvanPetzold.

Articles You May Like

Tigers To Sign Gio Urshela
Tigers Acquire Blake Dickerson From Padres
Tigers Claim TJ Hopkins, Designate Kolton Ingram
Tigers acquire 19-year-old LHP Blake Dickerson from the Padres
Tigers Designate TJ Hopkins For Assignment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *