Tigers, Harris protect five players from Rule-5 draft, swing trade with Giants

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Tigers new president of baseball ops Scott Harris has identified five young players he wants to keep in the system.

The club added two minor league pitchers and three minor league hitters to its 40-man roster on Wednesday, thus protecting them from exposure in the Rule-5 draft next month -- where players who haven't accrued sufficient big-league service time with their respective clubs can be drafted by other organizations.

On the pitching side, the Tigers protected right-handers Reese Olson and Brendan White, both of whom are coming off strong seasons with Double-A Erie. Olson, Detroit's No. 9 prospect per MLB Pipeline, finished second in the Eastern League in strikeouts and first in K/9, while White posted a 2.67 ERA in 48 appearances out of the bullpen.

On the hitting side, the Tigers protected infielders Wenceel Perez and Andre Lipcius and outfielder Parker Meadows. Perez is the highest-ranked prospect of the three, an amateur free agent signing in 2016 who posted a .903 OPS last season across High-A and Double-A.

Meadows, a second-round pick in 2018, is one of the Tigers' top-ranked outfield prospects after hitting 20 homers last season across High-A and Double-A. And Lipcius, a third-round pick in 2019, finished last year with Triple-A Toledo where he posted an .841 OPS.

After also recalling Kody Clemens and right-hander Angel DeJesus toward the end of the season, the Tigers' 40-man roster is now full.

Harris also swung a trade on Tuesday with his former team, sending cash to the Giants for 26-year-old outfielder and former second-round pick Steele Walker. A left-handed hitter, Walker posted a .754 OPS last season in 75 games in Triple-A.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: © Junfu Han via Imagn Content Services, LLC