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The 5 Tigers Players Who Have Played Their Final Game in Detroit

Josh BerenterCorrespondent IOctober 31, 2013

The 5 Tigers Players Who Have Played Their Final Game in Detroit

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    The Detroit Tigers finished the 2013 season in disappointing fashion, losing to the eventual World Series Champion Boston Red Sox in the American League Championship Series.

    Jim Leyland stepped down from his managerial role, and the roster puzzle pieces have already begun to fall into place.

    The Tigers have seven free agents going into this offseason and have been rumored to have a couple of players on the trade block.

    After the offense went completely flat in the playoffs, there's no doubt that the Tigers need to make some moves and cut some ties in an attempt to assemble a championship team.

    Here are the five Tigers who have played their last game in Detroit.

Brayan Pena

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    On Wednesday afternoon, the Tigers informed backup catcher Brayan Pena that they will not offer him a new contract, according to Pena, who shared the news via his Twitter account.

    Pena, one of the most charismatic and respected players on the team, signed  a free-agent contract with Detroit last season, replacing former backup catcher Gerald Laird. Pena signed a one-year contract for $875,000.

    He hit .297 with four home runs with 22 RBI in 2013. He is a .258 career hitter with 120 RBI and 18 long balls in nine MLB seasons with the Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Royals and the Tigers.

    With the move, the Tigers have made it clear that they are happy with the production of Alex Avila and the development of catcher Bryan Holaday, who has spent four years working his way up the Tigers system and hit .296 in 16 games for the big club last season.

     

Ramon Santiago

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    Ramon Santiago has spent a lot of time as a utility player in Detroit.

    He's played his entire 12-year career with the Tigers, and excluding the 2003 season when the Tigers challenged for the worst record in the history of baseball, Santiago has never played more than 112 games in a season.

    The 34-year-old has seen his playing time decreased in the last two seasons since the Tigers acquired second baseman Omar Infante, going from 101 games in 2011 to 93 games in 2012 to only 80 games last season.

    The free agent has never hit .300 in his career and had one of the worst statistical seasons of his life last season, batting .224 with one home run and 14 RBI.

    While I'm sure the Tigers wouldn't mind having the dependable glove, who can play almost every infield position, Santiago will likely seek options elsewhere for opportunities for more playing time.

    And with all of the money the Tigers are paying the big names these days, I doubt Detroit will opt to shell out anything close to the $2.1 million Santiago made the last two years of his expiring deal.

     

Jeremy Bonderman

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    Jeremy Bonderman has had a long, complicated history with the Tigers, and I think he's thrown his last pitch in Detroit.

    Bonderman, 31, began his career with the Tigers in 2003 and played his first eight MLB seasons in Detroit.

    The right-hander became a free agent after the 2010 season after one of his worst statistical seasons, going 8-10 with a 5.53 ERA in 30 games.

    After being out of baseball for a year, Bonderman found his way back to the big leagues with the Seattle Mariners last season, but after seven starts, he was granted free agency and found his way back to Detroit.

    In an unfamiliar reliever role, Bonderman went 1-1 with a 6.48 ERA in 16.2 innings over 11 games and was left off of the postseason roster, even with the vacancy of Bruce Rondon.

    Bonderman will likely get a minor league contract offer from the Tigers, but as stubborn as he is, he'll likely explore any and all options to pitch in the major leagues with another team.

     

Octavio Dotel

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    Octavio Dotel is the definition of an MLB journeyman.

    Dotel, who will turn 40 next month, has played 15 seasons for 13 different teams, playing one year or less with nine organizations.

    The right-handed reliever spent two years in Detroit and was expected to have a big season for the Tigers in 2013 before going down in mid-April with an elbow injury that kept him out the rest of the season.

    Dotel was close to returning to the Tigers in early September, but he was forced to leave a minor-league rehab appearance with forearm soreness and wasn't able to come back.

    Dotel is 59-50 with a 3.78 ERA in his 15-year career. However, at 40 years old, after missing almost an entire season due to injury and coming off of a two-year, $6.5 million contract, I don't think the Tigers are willing to re-sign the well-traveled veteran.

     

     

Jhonny Peralta

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    Jhonny Peralta was one of the few Tigers who actually produced consistently in the 2013 postseason.

    The only problem for the Tigers is that everyone else in the country witnessed Peralta's performance, as well.

    In lieu of Peralta's imminent 50-game suspension in August, the Tigers traded for Jose Iglesias, whose flashy glove was a pleasant surprise at shortstop in Detroit.

    Peralta hit .303 with 11 home runs and 55 RBI in 107 regular season games last season and batted .333 with a home run and six RBI in 10 postseason games.

    Despite his production, with Iglesias primed to be the Tigers' shortstop of the future, and Peralta seeking a long-term, lucrative deal, it seems likely the two parties will part ways.

     

     

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