Although he was outrighted to Triple-A Toledo on Thursday morning and now faces a completely uncertain future with the club, Detroit Tigers outfielder Don Kelly has officially accepted his assignment and will join his new teammates in the minors according to MLive.com's Chris Iott.
Had Kelly refused the demotion, he would have hit the free agent market immediately and likely would have received a few casual looks from teams still in search of a low-risk bat off the bench. But by staying with the Tigers, the same organization that strangely allowed him suit up for 232 games from 2010-2011 despite a .244 average during that span, the 32-year-old outfielder seems to be perfectly fine staying in his comfort zone.
A career .231 hitter in the big leagues who posted a woeful .175 mark in 103 sporadic at-bats this year, Kelly has only finished one season in his career where he owned a positive OWAR rating (offensive wins above replacement), and clearly was not going to beat out guys like Andy Dirks, Jeff Baker and Quintin Berry for playing time going forward. Although he has always been a favorite of manager Jim Leyland during his tenure, Kelly simply became more expendable than ever after some of the team's latest acquisitions.