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Tigers release former closer Francisco Rodriguez

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Tigers have released veteran closer Francisco Rodriguez, the team announced Friday. In a corresponding move, the Tigers recalled right-hander Bruce Rondon from Triple-A Toledo.

Rodriguez was let go after pitching poorly in his 16th season and second year of his three-year, $17 million deal. The 35-year-old right-hander, known as K-Rod for his ability to strike out batters at a high rate, was 2-5 with a 7.82 ERA and only seven saves in 28 games. He lost his role as Detroit’s closer on May 9 to Justin Wilson after blowing six saves and still couldn’t be relied upon coming out of the bullpen. The native of Venezuela also allowed nine home runs, including a grand slam in the Tigers’ 9-6 loss to the Mariners on Thursday, in 25 13 innings pitched.

Barring another team picking him up, Rodriguez has racked up 437 saves and 1,142 strikeouts in 976 innings for his career. He is one of only six pitchers in baseball history to accumulate 400 or more saves. Rodriguez still holds the major league record for saves in a single season, notching 62 back in 2008 while pitching for the Angels. He is a three-time league leader in saves (2005, 2006, and 2008) and a six-time All-Star. He spent seven seasons with the Angels, five with the Brewers, three with the Mets, two with the Tigers and one with the Orioles.