The Tigers moved to finalize their opening day roster by announcing Danny Worth had been optioned to Triple A Toledo. The 25th and final roster spot goes to veteran backup Ramon Santiago.
Reading between the lines, this is not about Worth's talent or his not doing enough to make the team. GM Dave Dombrowski has admitted he's major league ready. It's all about his inability to find a taker for Santiago and his $2.1 million contract.
Word is Worth took the demotion hard, being he deserved to go north. Jim Leyland showed empathy when talking about demoting the 27 year old infielder, who has worn a trail between Toledo and Detroit.
Leyland on Worth: "He deserves to be on the team. Looked like a big-leaguer, and is. We had 27 guys we tried to fit on a 25-man roster."— Lynn G. Henning (@Lynn_Henning) March 28, 2013
But two things went against Worth. First, he still has minor league options, so he could be sent down without fear of exposing him to waivers. Of course, the second is the money owed Santiago.
Odds are this is only a temporary.situation. Santiago has been put on notice, the Tigers will continue to look for a trade partner. Worth is one phone call and a 30 minute drive away.
It's safe to say Danny Worth will be back in Detroit. That doesn't make today's news any easier for him to take.
2013 Detroit Tigers opening day roster:
Starting pitchers: Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Rick Porcello, Anibal Sanchez, Max Scherzer.
Bullpen: Joaquin Benoit, Octavio Dotel, Phil Coke, Al Alburquerque, Brayan Villarreal, Darin Downs, Drew Smyly.
Infield: Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Omar Infante, Jhonny Peralta, , Ramon Santiago.
Catcher: Alex Avila, Brayan Pena, Victor Martinez (in name only).
Outfield: Andy Dirks, Torii Hunter, Austin Jackson, Don Kelly, Matt Tuiasosopo.