The Twins announced today that they have claimed 28-year-old outfielder Clete Thomas (bats left and throws right) on waivers from the Detroit Tigers who had designated Thomas for assignment on April 12th. The Twins expect Thomas to be at Target Field tonight prior to Sunday’s game against the Texas Rangers. The Twins made room on their 40-man roster, by transferring right-handed pitcher Scott Baker to the 60-day disabled list. The Twins will make a corresponding roster move prior to adding him to the 25-man roster.
Michael Clete Thomas was first drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the fifth round of the 2002 amateur draft but did not sign and ended up being drafted by the Tigers in round six of the 2005 draft and he signed with the Tigers at that time. Thomas worked his way up through the Detroit minor league system before making his major league debut on March 31, 2008. Thomas appeared with the Tigers in 40 games in 2008, 102 games in 2009 and then spent 2010-2011 with the Tigers AAA team in Toledo. This season he appeared in 3 games with Detroit but had no plate appearances. In the big leagues, Thomas has appeared in 145 games hitting .253 with 8 home runs and is 5 for 5 in stolen bases. Thomas has played all three outfield positions while with the Tigers. In the minors, Thomas has shown the ability to steal a base with 148 steals in 192 attempts. In 2011 Thomas hit a career high 12 home runs with Toledo.
You have to wonder what the Twins see in Thomas and why they want to put him on the 25 man roster. Who will the Twins send down to make room for Thomas? My guess is that Ben Revere may well be Rochester bound if indeed the Twins keep Thomas. The other option of course is that the Twins are going to make some kind of a deal, maybe with Boston since the Red Sox just lost Jacoby Ellsbury for 6-8 weeks due to a shoulder injury yesterday and there have been rumors floating around that Clete Thomas was someone that the Red Sox were interested in. Were the Tigers trying to slip Thomas past everyone on waivers so that they could make a deal with Boston? Who knows.
Here are some thoughts on Clete Thomas from a Tigers blog at Motor City Bengals.
UPDATE: The Twins announced that Ben Revere was optioned to Rochester after Saturdays game.