The Tigers announced the move Tuesday before their game against the Texas Rangers. The left-hander has pitched for three different American League teams this season, going 1-2 with a 5.61 ERA with Toronto, Oakland and Detroit.
Purcey has struggled mightily for the Tigers since the early part of July. In his last six appearances, he's thrown 3 1/3 innings, allowing seven runs, four hits and nine walks.
Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski says if Purcey clears waivers, the Tigers will "be happy to send him to Triple-A and hopefully get him back throwing strikes."
The Tigers acquired Purcey from the Athletics in May for infielder Scott Sizemore.