DETROIT -- The Tigers created room for Joe Nathan on their 40-man roster by designating infielder Dixon Machado for assignment, shedding some of their middle-infield depth.
The Tigers had placed Machado on their 40-man roster prior to this past season. He has come up through the organization with a stellar reputation, but a lagging offense, which continued at Class A Lakeland with a .215 average and .559 OPS over 37 games in an injury-shortened 2013 season.
With Jose Iglesias now set as Detroit's shortstop for the foreseeable future, the Tigers could risk losing Machado. If Machado passes through waivers without another team claiming him to put on their 40-man roster, Detroit can outright him. He'll still be exposed to the Rule 5 Draft at next week's Winter Meetings, but the risk of losing him there would be minimal.
"We knew that this potential existed," Dombrowski said, "and before we protected the seven guys that we did [on the 40-man roster last month], we said, 'OK, if we sign a guy or two, are they ahead of these guys?'
"We like Machado. He hasn't hit very well so far and we hope to keep him in the organization, but we're deeper at shortstop now with Iglesias and now we have [Steve] Lombardozzi, who can play there. Hernan Perez can play second or short. We have [Eugenio] Suarez, too, so we're a little bit deeper."
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.