Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Tigers claim Zeid from Astros, designate Carrera

MLB.com @beckjason

DETROIT -- The Tigers' search for bullpen help led them to the waiver wire on the day Major League teams had to set their 40-man rosters. Josh Zeid isn't the big-name signing that many expect the Tigers to make, but he's the kind of waiver claim they often seek out at this time of year.

The Tigers claimed Zeid, a 27-year-old right-hander, off waivers from the Astros, who had tried to take him off their 40-man roster to make room for prospects they wanted to protect from the Rule 5 Draft. Zeid immediately goes on the roster for the Tigers, who designated outfielder Ezequiel Carrera for assignment to make room.

DETROIT -- The Tigers' search for bullpen help led them to the waiver wire on the day Major League teams had to set their 40-man rosters. Josh Zeid isn't the big-name signing that many expect the Tigers to make, but he's the kind of waiver claim they often seek out at this time of year.

The Tigers claimed Zeid, a 27-year-old right-hander, off waivers from the Astros, who had tried to take him off their 40-man roster to make room for prospects they wanted to protect from the Rule 5 Draft. Zeid immediately goes on the roster for the Tigers, who designated outfielder Ezequiel Carrera for assignment to make room.

"I'm extremely excited to be going to a team that wants me, I guess you could say," Zeid told MLB.com's Brian McTaggart. "I know they have a rich history of playoff experience. Honestly, I'm going to look forward to trying to make the club out of Spring Training. Whether that happens from Day 1 or Day 100, I'm going to go work and try to rehab [injuries to both feet] and try to be the best I can be. I know I can be a quality Major league Baseball player and I know the Detroit Tigers think I can be a big help to the team."

Zeid, acquired by Houston three years ago in the Hunter Pence trade, had a nice rookie season in 2013 before struggling this year. Working mostly middle relief, he gave up 16 earned runs on 30 hits over 20 2/3 innings, covering 23 appearances, with seven walks and 18 strikeouts. Most of that damage came in a month-long stretch from the end of June through July, in which he gave up 10 earned runs on 14 hits -- three of them home runs -- over 6 2/3 innings.

Zeid then went on the disabled list with lingering injuries that led to surgeries on both of his feet, keeping him out of the rest of the season. He's expected to be ready for Spring Training, Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski confirmed.

"It's good," Zeid said. "I got out of my boot on Tuesday this past week, and all I have to look forward to is getting better and better every day from here to Spring Training. I'm really excited. You take for granted having the use of both of your feet, and I'll never do that again. I'm pretty excited for the things to come."

When he's healthy, he's a power pitcher with a mid-90s fastball, slider and a splitter he developed with the help of former Tigers pitcher and ex-Astros pitching coach Doug Brocail.

The Tigers didn't need to go far for a scouting report on Zeid. He played in the World Baseball Classic qualifiers two years ago for Team Israel, a team managed by current Detroit skipper Brad Ausmus.

"Good arm," Ausmus said in a text message Thursday evening. "Swing-and-miss slider."

Said Zeid: "I don't know if that [history] really helped me. I like to think that my history in the Minor Leagues and the Major Leagues helped me a little bit, but I really, really enjoyed the team I had with him when I played with Team Israel, and he really brings a lot to the table. If he saw just a little bit of me, I'll take that and run with it."

The claim came hours after the Tigers used their final two open roster spots to protect relief prospect Angel Nesbitt and infielder Dixon Machado from the Rule 5 Draft on Dec. 11 at the Winter Meetings. However, Carrera's future in Detroit was shaky at best since season's end, and seemingly doomed once the Tigers acquired center fielder Anthony Gose from the Blue Jays a week ago.

Carrera used a torrid start and solid summer at Triple-A Toledo to enter the Tigers' center-field mix once Detroit traded Austin Jackson at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. Yet while Carrera put up respectable numbers, batting .261 (18-for-69) with four doubles and two RBIs, his defense was mercurial at best.

Video: Must C Catch: Carrera's amazing all-out grab 

Carrera earned a GIBBY Award nomination for his diving, over-the-shoulder catch in deep left-center at Yankee Stadium in August. A week later, however, he also saw a fly ball drop in between himself and Rajai Davis in shallow left-center while the two looked at each other, expecting the other to make the play.

Carrera spent most of the stretch run as a late-game defensive substitute and pinch-runner. He went three weeks between starts during the Tigers' playoff race in September.

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.

Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, Ezequiel Carrera, Josh Zeid