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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.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tigers were ‘quietly interested’ in Rodney

The Tigers made no secret of the fact that they were in the market for bullpen arms this offseason, swapping Ryan Perry for Collin Balester, adding Octavio Dotel, and kicking the tires on a few more free agents. They were wondering if the budget would stretch far enough for another reliever when Mike Ilitch authorized the addition of Prince Fielder.

One of those options they explored was apparently former Tiger Fernando Rodney, who got his third save of the season for the Rays in Wednesday’s 4-2 win over the Tigers.

“Well, he was a guy that, actually, we were quietly interested in. But he got signed,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said Thursday.

Rodney signed a two-year, $11 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim after his 37-save season with the Tigers in 2009, but finished just 17 games in two seasons — three last year — for the Angels.

He signed a two-year, $4.25 million contract with the Rays on Jan. 4.

“I don’t think Fernando Rodney ever got the credit that he deserved in Detroit. You talk about a warrior — he was a warrior,” Leyland said. “That last game in Minnesota, that playoff game (Game 163 in 2009): He wouldn’t come out. I have the utmost respect for him.”

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