Tigers don't lose Santos to waivers, instead to FA
When the Tigers needed a stopgap over the weekend, with one of their two catchers coming up gimpy, the Tigers called up Santos, the journeyman who'd served as essentially their third-string catcher for the past two seasons.
Santos had been re-signed in the offseason as just such an insurance policy, in the event that either starter Alex Avila or his backup, Gerald Laird — himself signed as a free-agent insurance policy, to take the strain of non-stop catching off Avila's knees — got hurt.
But no one assumed that Santos was any more than a Band-Aid solution to any problem, and when it became evident that they'd need more than a back-up catcher later in the week — when Avila's suddenly strained hamstring forced him to the disabled list — the Tigers designated Santos for assignment, using his spot on the 40-man roster for Bryan Holaday, who started the final two games of the series with Cleveland.
"We felt like, if it was a total backup situation, Santos would be the guy, but since this guy is going to have to play more, we felt like Holaday would be a better choice," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said after the move was made. "And he’s going to have to play a while, until I get Laird right."
With recent draft picks Holaday (a sixth-round pick in 2010), Rob Brantly (3rd round, 2010), Patrick Leyland (8th round, 2010), James McCann (2nd round, 2011) and Curt Casali (10th round, 2011) all highly thought-of by the organization, it wasn't like the 30-year-old Santos had much of a future with the organization, anyway.
His biggest highlight of his brief Tigers career may have been his walk-off sacrifice fly against the Yankees last Saturday.