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A sometimes-irreverent look at Detroit's Boys of Summer, the Tigers, as they try to return to the top of the American League Central.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Multple reports: Eldred leaving Tigers organization for Japan

When the Tigers went looking through their minor league organization for a right-handed bat recently, they were forced to bring Ryan Raburn back from Toledo well before he'd figured out his early-season offensive struggles.

It begged the obligatory question, what about Brad Eldred? You know, the guy who's leading the International League with 24 home runs, 65 RBI and a .695 slugging percentage.

"That's a story for another day," Leyland said mysteriously at the time, one of several hints he dropped on that particular road trip.

Maybe Monday was the day. By the reports, it certainly seems so.

While half the Tigers media corps was in Toledo on the team's off day to check out the first rehabilitation start of Alex Avila's rehabilitation stint, the story came to a head, as Eldred was a very late scratch from the game.

Per the varied reports out of Toledo — from's Jason Beck, MLive's Chris Iott, the Toledo Blade's John Wagner and's Dana Wakiji — Eldred said his good-byes to his teammates after the game, and appears to be headed to Japan to play for the Hiroshima Carp.

"What's going on is probably obviously better for me and my family, so that's the way it's gotta be," Eldred told the reporters, as reported by Wakiji. "I couldn't really ask for a whole lot more. Obviously more opportunity or whatever you want to call it, it is what it is right now."

The 31-year-old Eldred, who signed a minor-league contract with the Tigers organization in the offseason, hit just .188 in his five-game stint with the parent club in late April, early May.


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