Detroit Tigers waive four players; lefty reliever Nick Ramirez elects free agency

Detroit Free Press

Evan Petzold
 
| Detroit Free Press

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The Detroit Tigers announced Tuesday that four players were waived by the organization: right-hander Dario Agrazal, outfielder Jorge Bonifacio, right-hander Dereck Rodriguez and left-hander Nick Ramirez.

All four of them went unclaimed and cleared waivers, but Ramirez elected free agency. 

Agrazal, Bonifacio and Rodriguez were sent to Triple-A Toledo. The Tigers have trimmed their 40-man roster to 37 players in preparation for offseason tasks, including picking prospects to protect from the Rule 5 draft. The offseason begins once the World Series ends.

[ Tigers probably won’t spend big this offseason. Here’s what they need to do ]

Of the four players, Bonifacio spent the most time in the majors in 2020. Through 30 games, the outfielder hit .221 with two homers and 17 RBIs in his first year with the organization.

As a rookie for the Kansas City Royals in 2017, Bonifacio had a .255 batting average, 17 home runs and 40 RBIs in 113 games. The 27-year-old only played 69 games and five games for Kansas City in 2018 and 2019, respectively, before coming to Detroit.

[ What Matt Manning is doing to join Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal in MLB ]

Agrazal was supposed to start the 60-game sprint as a member of the Tigers’ starting rotation, but a late July forearm strain landed him on the 10-day injured list before his first start. The 25-year-old was transferred to the 45-day injured list in August to create a 40-man roster spot for top pitching prospect Casey Mize to make his MLB debut.

Rodriguez — the son of former Tigers catcher Ivan Rodriguez — was claimed off waivers from the San Francisco Giants on Aug. 31. He stood out as a rookie for the Giants in 2018 but has regressed since then. After claiming Rodriguez, 28, off waivers, the Tigers optioned him to the alternate training site in Toledo, where he pitched for the remainder of the season with the reserve squad.

Ramirez elected free agency after the 2019 season, as well. Two weeks later, in November, he signed back with the Tigers on a minor-league contract. This past season, Ramirez was added to the roster Sept. 10 and made five appearances. He had a 5.91 ERA with 11 strikeouts and four walks in 10⅔ innings.

The 31-year-old, across 46 games and 79⅔ innings in 2019, logged a 4.07 ERA with 74 strikeouts and 35 walks for the Tigers in the majors.

[ Ramirez has new motivation, and he weighs 7 pounds, 7 ounces ]

Evan Petzold is a sports reporting intern at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.

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