MLB: Tigers release reliever Francisco Rodriguez

The Detroit Tigers have released Francisco Rodriguez, one day after the 35-year-old reliever gave up a grand slam to Robinson Cano in his latest rough outing.

Rodriguez saved 44 games for the Tigers in 2016, but he is 2-5 with a 7.82 earned-run average this season. Detroit removed him from the closer role earlier this season.

“It’s never fun to tell guys you like, or good people, bad news,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “Franky has had an extremely good career. He was as gracious and as professional as I would have expected.”

The Tigers have experienced bullpen woes again this year, and Rodriguez’s decline is a big reason why. Justin Wilson has taken over as the closer, but Detroit hasn’t had enough depth in relief.


Detroit announced Rodriguez’s release on Twitter before Friday night’s game at San Diego. The Tigers, who have lost six in a row and are in last place in the AL Central, are responsible for the remainder of Rodriguez’s $6-million salary.

Rodriguez is fourth on the career list with 437 saves and set the single-season record of 62 in 2008, when he was with the Los Angeles Angels. His future was in question after a shaky season in 2012 with Milwaukee, but he was able to rebound, reinventing himself by relying on his changeup.

“He is a tremendous leader in the bullpen but it just wasn’t working on the field,” Ausmus said. “And quite frankly the reason we stuck with him is he is a good leader. He’s a good guy to have on the team. He is a positive influence.”



Chris Young, Kansas City’s winning pitcher in the 2015 World Series opener, had been designated for assignment. Reliever Neftali Feliz agreed to a one-year contract with the Royals on Friday, four days after he was released by Milwaukee. Young had a 7.50 ERA in two starts and 12 relief appearances allowing 47 hits, including seven home runs and 18 walks in 30 innings. He went 3-9 with a 6.19 ERA last year. … The Boston Red Sox have claimed right-hander Doug Fister off waivers in a move to provide depth to a rotation that has struggled after injuries to starters Steven Wright, who is out for the season after left knee surgery, and Eduardo Rodriguez, who is rehabilitating a right knee injury. Fister, 33, was released from his minor league contract with the Angels at his request on Thursday. He was pitching with their triple-A affiliate in Salt Lake City, but had a clause in his deal to opt out if he wasn’t added to the major league roster by June 21. He spent the 2016 season with the Astros, going 12-13 with a 4.64 ERA. …

The Minnesota Twins have added two reinforcements for their depleted pitching staff, right-handers Dillon Gee and Trevor Hildenberger. The Twins selected their contracts on Friday from triple-A Rochester before playing at Cleveland. Left-hander Mason Melotakis and right-hander Alex Wimmers were designated for assignment. … The Miami Marlins have agreed to minor league contracts with their top three draft picks, reaching a deal with No. 13 overall selection Trevor Rogers that includes a $3.4 million signing bonus. Miami also announced agreements Friday with No. 36 overall pick Brian Miller ($1,888,800) and No. 51 pick Joe Dunand ($1.2 million).

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