Bruce Rondon, 21, was the Tigers Minor League Pitcher of the year last season, striking out 66 batters in 53 innings at three separate stops in the system. Rondon pitched at Lakeland, Erie and Toledo in 2012 and recorded at total of 29 saves. Hew also pitched for the World Team in the futures game in Kansas City, showcasing a fasball that tops triple digits.
Rondon will get an opportunity this spring to win the closer's job following the departure of Jose Valverde.
The Tigers also purchased the contracts of RHP Melvin Mercedes (0-3 2.80 9 saves at West Michigan) and SS Dixon Machado (.195-2-37 23 SB at Lakeland.)
The much anticipated move of releasing Ryan Raburn brings to an end the Tigers career of the former utility man who struggled all of 2013, hitting .171 in 66 games. Unfortunately for Raburn, he will be remembered more for his 2012 numbers instead of the solid, productive campaigns he posted in 2009, 2010 and 2011.