The Tigers will non-tender reliever Neftali Feliz, according to James Schmehl of MLive.com (via Twitter). He’ll join fellow right-handed reliever Al Alburquerque in reaching the open market rather than returning to Detroit via arbitration.
Feliz signed on with the Tigers over the summer after being cut loose by the Rangers. The 27-year-old was projected by MLBTR to earn $5.2MM. That’s rather a steep price, but his numbers were driven up by prior saves and the fact that he was in his final year of eligibility.
Things didn’t work out at all in Detroit, as the former closer scuffled to a 7.62 ERA in his 28 1/3 innings. That’s probably not a fair reflection of his efforts, as ERA estimators saw him more as a ~4.00 performer, but Feliz had been outperforming his peripherals for some time.
It’s been a remarkable fall for a pitcher who once looked like a future ace reliever — if not a high-quality starter. But teams will still probably look at Feliz as a nice rebound candidate: youth remains on his side and he still brings his fastball in the 94 to 95 mph range on average.