The Tigers announced today that RHP Alfredo Figaro has been released after his contract was sold to the Orix Buffaloes of Japan’s Pacific League. While the wording is a bit confusing, the long and short of it is that Figaro will be pitching in Japan next year instead of Toledo.
The move isn’t a surprise. We had learned during the Winter Meetings that such a transaction was in the works. Figaro has been passed over many times on the organizational depth chart and that only figured to get worse as some of the better prospects Detroit has advance in the system.
Figaro, best known for his relation to former Tiger Fernando Rodney (they are cousins) and for getting the start in a must-win Game 161 in 2009. In that game, Figaro lasted only four outs. He allowed two runs on three hits and two walks in taking the loss in a 5-1 White Sox win. Figaro appeared in just eight games for the Tigers last season including one start. In 14.2 innings, he allowed 11 earned runs on 18 hits, compiling a 6.75 ERA.
My reaction? Not a big loss for the Tigers at all. He would have been nothing more than a rotation-filler at Triple-A anyhow. The moves does leave the Tigers with only 39 players on the 40-man roster, so if/when Detroit signs another bat, a corresponding roster move will not have to be made. Another plus is that at least I got to use the “bad pitching” tag again this winter.