Eddie Bonine will be staying in the Tigers' organization. The team announced Wednesday that Bonine cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Triple-A Toledo, where his success in 2008 earned him his first call to the Major Leagues last summer.
The Tigers designated Bonine's contract for assignment a week and a half ago in order to make room on the 40-man roster for reliever Brandon Lyon, who had just signed.
Teams could've claimed Bonine off waivers, but he would've had to stay on their 40-man roster. At this stage of the offseason, many teams already have their rosters set. Those who don't still have their choice of a slew of free agents left on the open market.
The move does not mean Bonine will be left out of Major League camp. As part of the outright assignment, the 27-year-old right-hander will be in Spring Training as a non-roster invitee when pitchers and catchers report next week. It'll be his first spring in a big league camp after a season of firsts last year.
Bonine earned a trip to Detroit by winning each of his first eight starts with the Mud Hens. The Tigers purchased his contract on June 14 to make his big league debut that afternoon, when his 5 1/3 innings and six runs allowed put him in line for the victory. He became the first Tiger to win his Major League debut since Andy Van Hekken on Sept. 3, 2002.
After taking a no-decision for his seven innings of two-run ball June 20 at San Diego, Bonine allowed one run over eight innings for another victory June 27 over the Rockies. He was optioned back to Toledo on July 9 and rejoined the Hens' rotation for a month before a right shoulder strain sidelined him for the rest of the season. Bonine is back at full strength and able to pitch without restriction this spring.
The Bonine move likely completes the Tigers' Spring Training roster. Detroit had a standing offer for a Minor League contract out to left-hander John Parrish, who would've been a candidate for a spot in the bullpen, but the free agent is headed elsewhere. He's close to accepting a similar offer from Baltimore to compete for a rotation spot.
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