The Tigers made another change to their 40 man roster today, claiming right-handed relief pitcher Josh Zeid off waivers from the Houston Astros. Zeid, a 27 year old with a fastball that can reach the high 90s, was 0-1 with a 5.21 ERA and 5.07 FIP in 48 1/3 innings across two seasons with the Astros. He was a 10th round selection out of Tulane University by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2009.
To make room for Zeid on the 40 man roster, the Tigers designated center fielder Ezequiel Carrera for assignment. Carrera hit .307/.387/.422 in the minors in 2014, but could only manage a .261 batting average and .301 on-base percentage in 73 plate appearances at the MLB level.
While the move for Zeid doesn't look like much on the surface, it is another low-cost attempt at improving the bullpen. As mentioned, Zeid can hit the high 90s with his fastball. He also throws a slider and splitter. He has 42 strikeouts in 48 1/3 career MLB innings. In 62 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level, Zeid has a 3.18 ERA and strikes out over a batter per inning.
Zeid is a decent spec arm. Big RHP who throws hard. 6th/7th inning type, bullpen depth.— TigersProspectReport (@TigersProspects) November 20, 2014
If he pans out, Zeid could be a long-term asset for the Tigers. Zeid still has five years of club control remaining, and is not eligible for arbitration until after the 2016 season. If he makes the major league roster, Zeid will make close to the league minimum in 2015.