photo by Samara Pearlstein
FACT! Since he’s been the GM/Prez/Official Front Office Striped Shirt Wearer of the Tigers, Dave Dombrowski has not gone to arbitration with a player, because it is not pleasing to his sense of self-worth as a negotiatin’ man. Well, we may be approaching the end of this laudable streak, as the deadline for avoiding arb was Feb. 1 and oh goodness will you look at that, it is ten minutes away from being Feb. 3 and Justin Verlander still has not agreed to take the money that he is given.
Somehow Dombrowski may yet avoid having to deal with the indignity and shame of talking to an arbitrator, because there is apparently a hearing on Feb. 13, thus there is still time to Get Things Done. So what was the Feb. 1 deadline? Baseball is so mysterious about the boring things.
If this does go to arb it will be interesting in the sense that, on the one hand, Verlander is young and has been very good in the past and is overflowing with potential and enthusiastic goatees; but on the other hand he was WAY off his game for most of last season, and how does that measure up against greater success at a greater temporal remove? We are only talking about a difference of about a million dollars so it’s not like this will get into Dangerous and Crazy Territory, but I think it would be fair to expect Mildly Interesting Territory to be reached.
Jason Beck has some meatier words on the Verlander situation over here, they are probably worth reading if you find yourself caring deeply about this situation in the face of NO BASEBALL YET (except for the Caribbean World Series).
I expect that Dombrowski is hoping to avoid arb now to preserve his reputation and his mystical aura, if for no other reason. If it comes down to that I too hope that arb can be evaded. I prefer to have my GMs operating with their mystical powers intact.
(Postscript! I just noticed that, in that photo, Dombrowski’s shirt is not just striped, it is STRIPES WITHIN STRIPES. Look at the green stripes: they are broken up into green and white stripes! Oh my holy cats, what majesty.)
ETA: Freep reports that Verlander has signed for $3.675 million. Dombrowski’s magical powers prevail again!