Final roster spot up for grabs

Final roster spot up for grabs

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Tigers made one more step towards finalizing their Opening Day roster, albeit a small one.

Outfielder Freddy Guzman, whose speed and defense had proven intriguing in camp, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Double-A Erie. That leaves catcher Dane Sardinha and outfielder Clete Thomas still in camp for the final positional spot on the roster.

Thomas has been brought back from Minor League camp and has been seeing at-bats this week since a broken finger landed Curtis Granderson on the 15-day disabled list. Sardinha remains in camp as a non-roster invitee as manager Jim Leyland and his staff debate whether they need a dedicated backup catcher besides Brandon Inge, who will head into the season as the starting center fielder.

Thomas finished out the Tigers' Grapefruit League finale Thursday in center field, relieving Inge for the late innings.

"We bring back players all the time. We wanted to take a look at him," Leyland said.

The Tigers left Lakeland without making a decision on that final spot, meaning that choice and the decision on the final two spots in the bullpen will have to be decided while the Tigers are in Houston for exhibition games against the Astros on Friday and Saturday.

The only candidates in camp for the relief spots are right-handers Yorman Bazardo and Aquilino Lopez. However, the Tigers could still bring in another pitcher from another team, either via trade or waiver claim.

Jason Beck is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.