Rockies shopping closer Huston Street to clear payroll space

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For teams like the Blue Jays that are in the market for a veteran closer but scared off by free agent demands Huston Street could emerge as a top target, with Troy Renck of the Denver Post reporting that the Rockies “would like to move Street to create payroll flexibility to pursue a starting pitcher.”

Street served up too many homers this year and also dealt with a triceps injury, which led to the Rockies gaining confidence in Rafael Betancourt as closer.

Street still ended the season with a 3.86 ERA and 55/9 K/BB ratio in 58 innings, which is plenty impressive for a guy calling Coors Field home. In three seasons with the Rockies he has a 3.50 ERA and 170/33 K/BB ratio in 167 innings and prior to that Street posted a 2.88 ERA in 269 innings for the A’s.

When healthy he’s pretty consistently been an elite reliever and Street is still just 28 years old, so with a contract that pays him $7.5 million in 2012 and has a $9 million mutual option or $500,000 buyout for 2013 he’d make sense for a lot of teams.

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.