Johan Santana goes two innings in rehab outing

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Mets left-hander Johan Santana tried to complete a minor league rehab assignment back in July, but he quickly felt lingering discomfort in his surgically-repaired left shoulder and was shut down for a big chunk of August. Now he’s back at it.

According to David Lennon of New York’s Newsday, Santana took a big step in the right direction Saturday, tossing two innings in an early-afternoon rehab game at Single-A St. Lucie. He allowed three hits and a run, but the veteran southpaw reported no issues with his shoulder and is likely to make an appearance of similar length next Friday. It was his first live game since July 28.

Santana is still optimistic about returning to the major leagues in late September for a couple of relief appearances, but he’ll have to avoid setbacks and continue making progress to reach that goal.

Santana, 32, had a 2.98 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 144/55 K/BB ratio in 29 starts for the Mets last season.

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.