The Tigers have released veteran reliever Junichi Tazawa, per the International League transactions page (h/t Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com, on Twitter). Also cut from the club’s Triple-A roster was fellow righty Mark Montgomery.
Tazawa, 32, signed with the Detroit organization in early June after he was cut loose by the Marlins. Unfortunately, his rough showing with the Fish followed him into the upper minors. In 7 2/3 innings for Toledo, Tazawa allowed eight earned runs while recording ten strikeouts against five walks.
It still seems reasonable to expect that the veteran will catch on somewhere on a minors deal. He has had plenty of success in the majors and the Marlins are on the hook for his $7MM salary (less the pro-rated minimum if he makes it back to the majors). But Tazawa has looked like a shell of his former self since making an ill-fated match with Miami. His velocity and swinging-strike rates are well off his prime levels.
As for Montgomery, the 27-year-old has long waited in vain for a MLB opportunity. In parts of six seasons at the highest level of the minors, he has thrown 182 1/3 innings of 2.71 ERA ball with 10.5 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9.