DALLAS -- The Tigers' first move of the Winter Meetings was a subtraction, not an addition. Detroit outrighted the contract of first baseman Ryan Strieby to Triple-A Toledo, opening up a spot on their 40-man roster.
Detroit's roster filled up once it signed Gerald Laird last month. The move returns the club to 39 players, though it doesn't necessarily mean another move is on the way. This gives the Tigers some flexibility ahead of Thursday morning's Rule 5 Draft, for which Strieby will now be eligible.
The 26-year-old Strieby was a right-handed power hitting prospect a few years ago, but wrist injuries have sapped his bat speed over the last few years. He hit .255 with 19 home runs and 76 RBIs at Triple-A Toledo this past season, but he struck out 171 times in 557 plate appearances. By contrast, his previous career high in strikeouts was 101, and the last time he had at least 500 plate appearances in a season (2007 at West Michigan), he struck out just 78 times.
With Victor Martinez around, Strieby was no longer an insurance policy at first base for Miguel Cabrera. He has tried playing the outfield in the past, but shifted back to first full time in 2011.