THE PAST: Todd originally was drafted by St. Louis in the second round of the 2007 draft, and by 2009 he already had advanced to the majors. He made one appearance for the Cardinals that season before being traded (along with Chris Perez) to the Indians as part of the Mark DeRosa deal. Todd had a 7.40 ERA in 19 relief appearances with Cleveland in ’09; the next season he split between the Tribe (7.50 ERA in five appearances) and Triple-A Columbus, where he had a 3.31 ERA. In 2011 he began the season with Columbus (11.00 ERA in eight appearances), was claimed off waivers by the Yankees and pitched for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (10.80 ERA in two appearances), then was claimed off waivers by St. Louis and pitched for Memphis (where he had a 4.91 ERA in 41 appearances). Last season Todd again pitched for Memphis in the Pacific Coast League, making 47 relief appearances for the Redbirds and going 2-2 with a pair of saves and a 4.34 ERA.
THE FUTURE: Early in his career Todd was a highly regarded prospect thanks to a cutter that provides a good counter-point to his sinker and slider. When he is at his best, Todd is forcing batters to hit the ball into the ground, although he has 369 strikeouts in 368 career minor-league innings. He also won’t turn 27 until April of next season, so youth is on his side. Although he started early in his career, he has been exclusively a reliever since 2009, and will look to push for a bullpen role in Detroit or Toledo in 2013.
WORTH NOTING: When the Yankees claimed Todd on waivers from Cleveland, they designated Kevin Russo for assignment to make room for Todd on the 40-man roster. The Tigers announced that both Todd and Russo were among the players signed to minor-league contracts Nov. 26, and both could be teammates this season.