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A sometimes-irreverent look at Detroit's Boys of Summer, the Tigers, as they try to return to the top of the American League Central.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Tigers don't lose Santos to waivers, instead to FA

Omir Santos is no longer a member of the Tigers organization, clearing waivers, but refusing his assignment to Triple-A Toledo on Friday.

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. 


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