After discussing a lot of the moves the Tigers could make, one has to wonder if they even have the roster flexibility to do so. Glancing at the Tigers 40 man roster, there is no doubt they can afford to add what they need for the upcoming 2012 season.
After taking away the Tigers 6 free agents (Guillen, Ordonez, Betemit, Santiago, Zumaya, Thomas), the 40 man roster currently sits at 34 players. Assuming that the Tigers do not re-sign any of the players above (except maybe Zumaya on a minor league deal), and that is a pretty good assumption, 6 players could be added in the off-season. This of course doesn’t take into account Rule 5 guys that will have to be added to the roster.
I don’t have a total list of players eligible for the Rule 5 draft that the Tigers could protect, but I do have some names that I believe the Tigers will put on the 40 man roster. The following four players are likely to be added before the November 18th deadline; Casey Crosby, Matt Hoffman, Tyler Stohr, and Jay Voss. A fifth could potentially be added in Gustavo Nunez if the Tigers feel they want to hold onto him for his defense. That would still leave one spot open for a free agency signing.
That might not sound like a lot, but at the same time, the Tigers do have some guys that can easily still be removed from their 40 man roster. For instance, if the Tigers should feel that Nunez is a guy that could get drafted in the Rule 5 and they wanted to protect him, they could easily outright Cale Iorg, who is currently on the 40 man roster. There are several other players that could be removed as well. They include; Cale Iorg, Ryan Strieby, Will Rhymes, Clete Thomas and Jose Ortega. Brayan Villareal is also on the 40 man, and I feel like he could go as well, given the Tigers find a better option.
If the Tigers were to get rid of those players as well, there 40 man roster could get down to 29 people rather easily, and 28 if they should choose to do so. The likelihood that would happen is pretty slim, and the removal of some of them would probably involve trades, but you can see that there is a great amount of flexibility here.
Bottom line, financial considerations are going to be taken into consideration when adding to the 40 man roster, so they aren’t going to add more than a couple free agents, but the roster isn’t going to be what stops it.
As you can see, the Tigers should have plenty of room.