Rondon among seven players to come to terms with Tigers on 2013 contracts
The Detroit Tigers came to terms on contracts for seven of their unsigned pre-arbitration eligible players, the team announced Monday, giving them 26 members of the 40-man roster under contract.
Detroit agreed to 2013 contracts with relief pitchers Duane Below, Darin Downs, Kyle Lobstein, Luke Putkonen and Bruce Rondon, as well as catcher Ramon Cabrera and utility man Jeff Kobernus.
The Tigers traded for Lobstein and Kobernus shortly after the Rule 5 Draft, and swapped former top prospect Andy Oliver for Cabrera in the offseason, replenishing their catching depth in the minor leagues.
Below, Downs and Lobstein could all be contenders for the second lefty reliever spot in the bullpen, while Putkonen will likely end up in Triple-A Toledo after a couple of short stints in the big-league bullpen last season.
Rondon, of course, is the leading contender for the Tigers’ closer role vacated by the departure of Jose Valverde.
Kobernus could be the team’s utility man, replacing Don Kelly in that role.