Tigers DFA extremely recent pickup in favor of former Reds outfielder

Milwaukee Brewers v Cincinnati Reds
Milwaukee Brewers v Cincinnati Reds / Kirk Irwin/GettyImages

Just a few weeks ago, the Detroit Tigers said goodbye to utility man Nick Maton, who Tigers fans had very little love for after multiple slip ups in the infield and a nearly silent bat in 93 games last year. It was a corresponding move to make room on the 40-man for Kolton Ingram, who the team picked up on waivers from the Angels.

Ingram was a 37th-round pick for the Tigers in 2019, but didn't make his major league debut until June 2023 with the Angels. He pitched 5 1/3 innings over five games and gave up eight hits and seven runs during that time for a 8.44 ERA. He was DFA'ed by LA in late January, which allowed the Tigers to pick him back up.

That transaction was just 15 days old by Feb. 20, but the Tigers sent him packing again in favor of TJ Hopkins, an outfielder who most recently appeared in the major leagues with the Reds.

Technically, he was a San Francisco Giant for less than two months (Dec. 19-Feb. 13) before being DFA'ed again so they could make room on their roster for Otto Lopez.

Detroit Tigers DFA Kolton Ingram after two weeks after claiming outfielder TJ Hopkins off waivers

Hopkins appeared in 25 games for the Reds in 2023 before being traded to the Giants in return for cash. As a corner outfielder and DH, he hit .171/.227/.171 with no home runs and no extra base hits. Before he was called up, he was smashing his way through Triple-A, with a .308/.411/.514 line, 16 home runs, and 55 RBI in 94 games. That's what the Tigers will undoubtedly try to tap into with him, provided he lasts longer than Ingram did.

With two minor-league options left, if Hopkins gets through spring training and doesn't shock everyone by making the major league team, he'll be sent down to Toledo by Opening Day. If he's able to exceed expectations in Triple-A the way he did when he was in Cincinnati, he might be a later-season call up for the ever-variable Tigers lineup.