Wily Mo Pena could play in Japan next year

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Every time Wily Mo Pena comes up I — and a lot of other people — get kind of excited because big long home runs and all-or-nothing kind of players like him are sort of neat on some weird level.  It’s irrational, I know. It’s just one of those times when people who think like I do cast aside the “how valuable is this player, truly” thinking and just say “man, he’s fun!”

But Pena isn’t like to ever stick full time in the bigs. Just too many holes in his swing and no defensive value at all.  Which is why it makes perfect sense that he told ESPN’s Dominican Republic radio station that he may play in Japan next year. The wording was that he may “accept a contract,” so it’s possible that he already has an offer.

Back to irrationality: I hope he hits 50 homers over there and is given some crazy/wonderful nickname by Japanese fans and never has to pay for a meal in Tokyo again.

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.