Tigers might've uncovered reliever with nasty movement in recent waiver claim

Seattle Mariners v Oakland Athletics
Seattle Mariners v Oakland Athletics / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

Tyler Nevin, who the Detroit Tigers brought over from the Orioles in exchange for cash at the end of 2022, struggled to earn his keep with the team in 2023 and was DFA'ed on Jan. 18 when they added Devin Sweet, a reliever picked up via waivers from the Giants.

Nevin was brought in to try to fill the hole at third base and occasionally rotate through DH, but he struggled throughout his year with the Tigers and was sent down to Triple-A multiple times throughout the season, leaving him out of minor league options.

Nevin's future with the team has been up in the air since before the season ended, with Scott Harris sometimes naming Matt Vierling and Zach McKinstry as potential platoon partners at third in 2024, but neglecting to mention Nevin. All told, he only played in 41 games over the 2023 season and batted a paltry .200/.306/.316.

But who is Devin Sweet, the reliever who will fill Nevin's roster spot? He was let go by the Giants, but they picked him up off of waivers from the A's in December. Sweet has only pitched 8 2/3 innings in the major leagues, but has decent numbers at the minor-league level. We'll definitely see him getting a few innings in during spring training, but will he make it onto the Opening Day roster?

Detroit Tigers claim reliever Devin Sweet off of waivers, DFA Tyler Nevin

Sweet was signed by the Mariners in 2018 as an undrafted free agent. He stayed with the organization until September 2023 and only ever saw two innings of major league time throughout his tenure before being DFA'ed to make room for Dominic Leone. The A's picked him up and gave him 6 2/3 more innings over five games, but he gave up eight earned runs and three home runs during that short span and was DFA'ed again, which led him to San Francisco.

Grabbing Sweet off of waivers again is an optimistic endeavor for the Tigers, who might be looking to rehabilitate an arm to add to their relatively small bullpen. There's still a very good chance he ends up in Triple-A to start the season, but we should expect to see him pitch in spring training, which will give both the team and its fans a look at what he might be capable of if he's given another chance in the majors. DFA'ing Nevin wasn't a massive blow to the Tigers, so if his roster replacement gives us even a little bit of hope for some good depth, this trade off was the right move.