Detroit Tigers trade for catcher from Indians, continue shaping 40-man roster

Anthony Fenech
Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Tigers’ 40-man roster continues to take shape.

On Wednesday, the Tigers acquired catcher Erik Haase — a Westland native and Dearborn Divine Child graduate — in a trade with the Indians, according to the team.

In exchange for Haase, the Tigers traded Cleveland cash considerations.

Haase, 28, has yet to play much in the big leagues — he has played in just 19 games in parts of two Septembers — but has shown promise. In 2019, he was an International League All-Star with the Columbus Clippers.

Last season, he  hit .226 with 28 home runs. In nine minor league seasons, he is a .243 hitter with 130 home runs. Haase was drafted out of high school by the Indians in the seventh round of the 2011 MLB Draft.

Detroit Tigers hat and glove are seen in the dugout before a game against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park, June 1, 2019.

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Haase’s addition addresses the Tigers’ catching depth. At present, he is the fourth catcher on the 40-man roster, joining Grayson Greiner, Jake Rogers and Austin Romine.

Romine, who signed a one-year, $4.1 million deal last month, is projected to be the starter, with Greiner serving as his backup. Given the team’s penchant for patience with Rogers — the Tigers will not rush him back to the majors after he struggled so badly last season — Haase could step into a third-string role of sorts.

To make room for Haase on the 40-man roster, the Tigers designated right-hander Dario Agrazal for assignment. The team had acquired Agrazal in a November trade with the Pirates, again for cash considerations.

Agrazal, 25, posted a 4.91 ERA and 1.36 WHIP in 15 games — 14 starts — as a rookie in 2019. He struck out 41 batters in 73 1/3 innings.

After being designated for assignment, Agrazal will be exposed to waivers like utility man Brandon Dixon was two weeks ago after the Tigers signed first baseman C.J. Cron and second baseman Jonathan Schoop.

With the MLB league offices shut down over the Christmas holiday, Dixon’s fate was not determined until Tuesday, when the Tigers announced that he cleared waivers and will be outright to Triple-A Toledo.

Dixon, who turns 28 this month, hit .248 with 15 home runs and 52 RBIs last season. Like Haase, he will serve as seasoned depth to start spring training.

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