Twins claim Clete Thomas from Tigers, option Ben Revere to Triple-A
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins announced Saturday that they have claimed outfielder Clete Thomas off waivers from the Detroit Tigers. To make room on the 25-man roster, outfielder Ben Revere was optioned to Triple-A Rochester.
To make room on the 40-man roster, right-hander Scott Baker was placed on the 60-day disabled list.
"He can play left, center and right. He can run, he's got some power, he ran throw, so we took advantage of the situation for a waiver claim, and obviously we had to send down a player unfortunately," general manager Terry Ryan said.
"But Ben wasn't playing here. He's behind (Denard) Span right now, and it just doesn't work. Thomas can play all three, and he certainly can do all the things we're looking for in an extra outfielder."
Thomas, 28, was designated for assignment by Detroit earlier this week. He has played parts of three seasons with the Tigers, posting a .253/.336/.391 batting line in 443 plate appearances with eight home runs and 48 RBIs.
After missing most of 2010 after undergoing microfracture surgery on his right knee, Thomas spent the entire 2011 season at Triple-A, where he hit .250/.316/.401 with 12 home runs and 20 steals in 404 trips.
The Twins drafted Thomas in the fifth round of the 2002 draft, but he did not sign. He later went to the Tigers as a sixth-round pick in 2005.
Revere had only 11 at-bats through the Twins' first eight games, and his playing time was not likely to increase anytime soon with Josh Willingham, Denard Span, Ryan Doumit and Trevor Plouffe all fighting for outfield time as well.
Revere owns a .260/.303/.299 batting line in 522 career major league plate appearances, but a .326/.385/.408 line in the minors.
"You just can't let a guy like Revere sit on that bench," Ryan said. "He's suited to play center, he's suited to be a leadoff type guy, a catalyst. Thomas is more of the type of guy who can fit that fourth or fifth outfielder role."
Thomas has been friends with Span for about a decade, as the two played against each other in high school near Tampa. Span and Thomas worked out together with the same trainer for six offseasons.