Detroit Tigers: 5 Players that will not be back in 2016 (VIDEO)

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Jul 21, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers shortstop Andrew Romine (27) hits an RBI single in the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Romine

Andrew Romine has served in the reserve specialist role while filling in for Jose Iglesias during his various injuries this season and subbing in late innings at third base for Nick Castellanos. He has quietly put together a decent season for a reserve.

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Headed into Sunday’s double-header in Cleveland, Romine was hitting .254 in 92 games. Not great, but better than the .227 clip he played while splitting time with now-departed Eugenio Suarez at shortstop because of Iglesias’ season-ending shin injury a year ago.

Romine came to Detroit for LHP Jose Alvarez in the days after the Tigers found out Iglesias’ fate in Spring Training 2014. It was a bit of panic mode as the club was not willing to hand the everyday role to young Suarez. Later on, they still were not comfortable with the light-hitting Romine there and added Alex Gonzalez, a move that lasted about three weeks until Romine was given most of the starts until Suarez came up in June.

Unlike everyone else on this list, Romine is actually under team control for next season. He is not eligible for free agency until 2019, but begins his arbitration eligible years this off-season.

Considering his stats and playing time, Romine will not cost the Tigers much in arbitration, but there might be consideration in either non-tendering him (making him a free agent), or inking him and then exploring trade options (which would be limited). It is worth noting that Romine has no minor league options left. So if the Tigers want to send him to AAA, they have to put him through waivers.

The Tigers have both Dixon Machado and Jefry Marte knocking on the door to provide infield depth next season. Marte has filled in for an injured Miguel Cabrera at first base during his injury, but he’s been primarily a third baseman in the organization.

With one or both of these guys probably making the roster next year (sort of how the Tigers kept two utility infielders out of Spring Training this year), Romine might be expendable.

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