Victor Martinez expected back on Monday

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According to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe, Red Sox manager Terry Francona said Sunday that he expects catcher Victor Martinez (thumb) to be ready to return from the disabled list on Monday.  Like, this Monday.  Tomorrow.

Martinez caught a Clay Buchholz bullpen session on Saturday and reported no abnormal pain or discomfort in his once-fractured left thumb.  His return to the everyday lineup will be big, as Francona told the Globe.

“You’ve got your switch-hitter right smack in the middle, that would be good,” said the manager.

V-Mart was batting .289/.344/.480 with nine homers and 38 RBI in 246 at-bats at the time that he was placed on the disabled list.  The Red Sox have entrusted starting catching duties to Kevin Cash and Dusty Brown while he has been out because veteran backup Jason Varitek is sidelined with an injury of his own.  It’s safe to say they’re about to get an upgrade.

Tigers release Francisco Rodriguez

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Tigers’ right-handed reliever Francisco Rodriguez was released on Friday, per a team announcement. The club recalled fellow right-hander Bruce Rondon from Triple-A Toledo in a corresponding move.

The former closer got the boot after losing his closing role in early May, giving left-hander Justin Wilson a chance to impress at the back end of the bullpen. It’s been a rough year for Rodriguez, who manufactured six blown saves and a 7.82 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 25 1/3 innings for the Tigers. The final straw, it seemed, came with Robinson Cano‘s grand slam in the seventh inning of the Tigers’ 6-9 loss to the Mariners on Thursday.

While the demotion to a clean-up role and an apparent lack of communication caused Rodriguez considerable frustration, he’s two years removed from his last dominant performance as a major league closer and has shown few signs of returning to form. His recent slump doesn’t diminish the impressive totals he’s racked up over his 16-year career — 437 saves and six All-Star nominations among them — but if he can’t break out of it soon, he may not receive the kind of high leverage role he’s seeking with another big league team, either.

The Red Sox sign Jhonny Peralta

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The Red Sox have signed third baseman Jhonny Peralta to a minor-league deal. He’ll report to Pawtucket.

Peralta, 35, hit a paltry .204/.259/.204 in 58 plate appearances for the Cardinals this year. But with Pablo Sandoval on the disabled list — and ineffective when he hasn’t been — the Sox could use some infield depth.

This is the second former Tiger that former Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski has picked up today, after signing Doug Fister. No word if he’s kicking the tires on Andy Dirks or Brennan Boesch.