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Detroit Tigers Roster Moves: Niko Goodrum elects free agency

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Nivaldo Rodriguez and Jacob Robson have cleared waivers and been outrighted to Toledo.

Detroit Tigers v Minnesota Twins Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

So long, Niko Goodrum.

November 19 marks the deadline for major league clubs to set their 40-man roster. While signings can be made after this time, this is done, effectively, to protect certain players from becoming eligible for the Rule 5 Draft. So players that the club is unlikely to keep on their major league roster in the coming season are often given the opportunity to elect free agency, or will allow themselves to be outrighted off the 40-man roster and onto the minor league roster. Clubs will also generally leave some space on the roster should they opt to pick up any Rule 5 players.

There were several question marks in place for the Tigers as to which players they would move and which they would protect, but on Friday afternoon those choices were finalized.

Niko Goodrum and Nivaldo Rodriguez have been removed from the club’s 40-man roster.

In a corresponding move, the Tigers moved two players onto the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft.

With an opening on the roster that would allow the Tigers to select someone in the draft, the team appears to have made all their planned moves to finalize the roster based on their current players. This, of course, does not prohibit them from additional signings (as in a free agent shortstop) through the course of the offseason.

Niko Goodrum, 29, has been a fan favorite in Detroit, with his positive attitude and philanthropic drive to help the community. He’s been with the Tigers since 2018, and has a career line of .230/.303/.396 and a career wRC+ of 79. As he enters free agency there is always a chance he will reunite with the Tigers on a minor league deal, but he’ll test the open market first.

Nivaldo Rodriguez, formerly pitching in the Astros’ system, has yet to see major league play for the Tigers, but posted a 4.93 ERA and a 5.55 FIP for the Tigers in Toledo last year over 13 games. Jacob Robson was hitless (but did score one run) in his four major league games with the Tigers this season, but the outfielder was raking in Double-A, before heading to Toledo where he hit .259/.385/.389.

Angel De Jesus is a reliever who played 35 games in Toledo last year with a 4.21 ERA and Kody Clemens hit .247/.312/.466 in Toledo over 97 games.