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Don Kelly doesn't close door on possible return to Tigers

Veteran outfielder Don Kelly hopes to land a contract in free agency, but he could return to Detroit's organization for next season.


One day after declining an option to Triple-A Toledo, former Detroit Tigers outfielder Don Kelly did not entirely rule out a possible return to the organization next year, according to a report by George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press.

Kelly was removed from Detroit's 40-man roster on Wednesday, a move which afforded him the choice to either head to Triple-A Toledo or try out his hand on the free agent market. Hoping that an organization will give him a shot with its big-league club, the 32-year-old outfielder chose the latter.

"You just have to weigh your options and see what else might be available," Kelly said. "I guess that’s a formality of the business of baseball."

Following two consecutive seasons in which he played in at least 100 games and was key member of manager Jim Leyland's bench, Kelly finished with a dismal .186 average in 2012 and rarely looked comfortable at the plate. As a result, he was eventually demoted down to the minors and never found a way to get back into a rhythm offensively. The veteran outfielder has been told by general manager Dave Dombrowski that he will be welcomed back with open arms on a Triple-A contract, but it will ultimately depend on whether or not Kelly can find a suitor in free agency.