Alfredo Figaro Headed to Japan?

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The Tigers have been busy ridding themselves of pitchers who have drawn my scorn since the season ended. With both Eddie Bonine (now a Phillie) and Zach Miner (non-tendered) gone, apparently next in line to leave the organization is right hander Alfredo Figaro, so says Jason Beck.

Figaro is in negotiations to join the Orix Buffaloes (formerly Blue Wave) of Japan’s Pacific League (that’s Ichiro’s old club, BTW), and although nothing is finalized, a deal could happen soon.

As Beck notes, the loss of Figaro wouldn’t be devastating to the Tigers. It would open up a spot on the 40-man roster and allow another pitcher the chance to join the rotation at AAA Toledo. Figaro may have been a candidate to see mop-up duty in the Tigers ‘pen in 2011, but the team appears to have soured on him as a prospect.

If an agreement is reached, the Tigers would release Figaro from his deal to allow him to make the jump to the Far East. The way I see it, the free roster spot would be more valuable to Detroit than any contribution they may get from Figaro this year anyway. I’m hoping this happens.

For what it’s worth, NPBTracker.com is reporting that former Tiger Mike Hessman is also nearing a deal with Orix.

**UPDATE: Former MudHen pitcher Scot Drucker, who is in attendance at the Winter Meetings, has tweeted that the deal is done. He didn’t specify a source.

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