Balester had allowed 13 earned runs on 14 hits with 11 walks over 18 innings and had seemingly fallen down the list of options in the Tigers' bullpen.
Detroit had acquired Balester from Washington in a trade for fellow right-handed reliever Ryan Perry last winter. One reason the Nationals were willing to deal him was that he was out of Minor League options.
By getting Balester through waivers, the Tigers could bring him back later in the season if he can work out some control issues and stretch out his arm to fill a long-relief role. However, he'll be part of a crowded Mud Hens bullpen that includes right-handers Luke Putkonen and Zach Miner.