Tigers place Dixon on release waivers

November 19th, 2020

, the Tigers' home run leader in 2019, will be swinging for the fences overseas next year. The ballclub announced Thursday morning that they've requested unconditional release waivers on the utility player so that he can pursue an opportunity in Japan.

The move puts the Tigers' 40-man roster at 36 players ahead of Friday's deadline to add prospects to protect them from next month's Rule 5 Draft. The extra spot could allow Detroit to protect someone beyond top 10 pitching prospects Matt Manning, Alex Faedo and Joey Wentz.

The 28-year-old Dixon, claimed off waivers from the Reds on Nov. 2, 2018, jumped into a regular role in Detroit on April 21, 2019, after Miguel Cabrera became a full-time designated hitter and Josh Harrison was injured. Dixon ended up leading the Tigers with 15 home runs while batting .248 with 52 RBIs and a .725 OPS.

The combination of free-agent signings and prospect arrivals relegated Dixon to the alternate training site in Toledo, Ohio, for much of this past season. He finally got a call in late September and played in five games down the stretch, batting 1-for-13 with a double and two RBIs.