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Detroit Tigers News: Team tops off 40-man roster with trio of top prospects

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Tigers fill the final four spots while things sour for Candelario, plus other prospect news.

Detroit Tigers Spring Workout Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Now that the Major League Baseball season is well in the past, the offseason roster rituals have begun with teams making adjustments to their 40-man roster for the Rule 5 Draft ahead of the 6 p.m. EST deadline on Friday; the draft is scheduled to take place on Dec. 10.

The Detroit Tigers began the day with four open spots available, and before the clock struck noon, those final slots were filled with a quartet of young pichers from the farm. Here is a look at who got the call from the top brass.

Manning, Faedo, Wentz and Lange top off 40-man roster

As noted before, the Tigers had four open spots available when the roosters crowed on Friday morning, but before lunch the team added the final players to be protected in the Rule 5 Draft. The entire cohort consists of pitchers, led by the No. 3 overall prospect in the system, Matt Manning, followed by No. 9 Joey Wentz, No. 10 Alex Faedo, and Alex Lange.

Make note that the team can still remove players to add space for Rule 5 Draft picks, plus they can sign a free agent or make a trade to mix things up. The deadline simply represents the last day that a player from within the organization can be added — once the final list is in, the die is cast on internal prospects.

The Tigers protected six players last season — all of whom made their big-league debuts in 2020. Right-hander Beau Burrows, outfielder Daz Cameron, righty Anthony Castro, outfielder Derek Hill, righty Kyle Funkhouser and infielder Isaac Paredes were the final additions to the 40-man roster before the deadline in 2019.

Not so sweet for the Candyman

The recent news concerning Robinson Cano’s positive PED test and subsequent 162-game suspension has had a profound effect one member of the Tigers: Jeimer Candelario. See, Candy and Cano have been longtime friends and workout partners, so when the news broke, it clearly shook the 26-year-old Tiger.

“I saw the news. He’s a human being. I’m here all the time. He’s my friend. I can’t tell more than that. ... I’ll give it a couple of days, and then probably I can reach him. Like I said, it’s not that much I can say.”

When asked if he was aware of Cano’s PED use, he denied any knowledge of the situation.

“I didn’t know about that. I never knew about that.”

It is a shame that the potential Hall of Fame tarnished his legacy again so late into his career — a blemish that might keep him out of Cooperstown. Hopefully Candelario will learn from his friend’s mistakes.

Offseason destinations for Tigers prospects

Even though baseball season is over here in North America, the game still goes on in other parts of the world over the winter months. Evan Petzold at the Detroit Free Press takes a look at the various destinations that 19 of the Tigers’ farmhands have on their offseason itineraries.

Six players will head off to the Dominican Winter League — including the aforementioned Candelario — while five will play in the Venezuelan Winter League, three in the Mexican Pacific Winter League, three in the Australian Baseball League and two in the Puerto Rican Winter League.

Tarik Skubal talks with Pitcher List’s Nick Pollack

Around the horn

Speaking of Pitcher List, here’s their reason why Curt Schilling has no place in the Baseball Hall of Fame. MetsRobinson Cano suspended for 2021 season after positive PED test. Reflections on the long, successful Chicago Cubs tenure of Theo Epstein. Grading the 2020 Twins: Bert Blyleven’s cardboard head cutout. What was baseball in 2020? Appropriately weird. Think catching a foul ball is hard? How 2020 taught us it’s even tougher than we thought. Why the Mets’ Steve Cohen sounds exactly like the kind of owner Major League Baseball needs.

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