illustration by Samara Pearlstein
Goodbye, goodbye sweet Placido! We shall sorely miss your breathe-right strips and your cold-weather snoods and your little goatee and your giant skull and your grimacey batting faces on these Detroit shores. *sniffle*
Today was of course the deadline for teams to offer arbitration to their arb-eligible players. The Tigers elected to make that offer to Brandon Lyon and Fernando Rodney. They did not make the offer to Adam Everett, Aubrey Huff, Jarrod Washburn, and Polanco.
Polanco was a Type A free agent, which means that if the Tigers had offered him arbitration, other teams would have had to give up a first round draft pick and a supplemental first round pick to sign him. This would have made him less valuable on the open market, because he’s kinda old and teams don’t generally like giving up those early slots. So it was at least somewhat likely that if the Tigers had offered him arb, he would have accepted it, and gotten a snotload of cash on account of his Gold Glove and all that. Sure, it would have only been a one-year deal, and maybe in rosier economic times the Tigers would have done it, but all we’ve heard about this winter has been ZOMG THE MONEY IS GONE, GONE, ALL OF IT GONE– the amount of money Polanco was likely to make in arbitration was apparently a deterrent for the Tigers. He should still be able to get a good contract elsewhere, now that interested teams know they don’t have to give up The Future to snag him.
Fernando and Lyon are both Type B free agents, which would net the Tigs
someone else’s first round pick (no supplementals) some random supplemental picks if they’re signed away. Ugh. I guess it wouldn’t be terrible if Lyon accepted… he made $4.25 million last year, which is pretty high for what he did, but there are worse things in life than effective-but-overpaid middle relievers, right? Right.
Fernando made $2.7 million in ’09. I won’t comment on his performance. You all know my feelings there. He may decide to decline arb and feel out free agency anyways. This does raise the question of what in the hell the Tigers are planning to do for a closer if they don’t go with Fernando again. Paws knows I don’t recommend holding your breath and hoping Zumaya stays healthy or sane, and the FA market is not exactly brimming over with scintillatingly brilliant closers at the moment. I guess we’ll see. Mr. Dombrowski’s got a plan, that is what I will keep telling myself.
Everett, Huff, and Washburn are all Type Nothing free agents, so nobody cares about them.
OK, mild lie. Everett’s presumed (although, I guess, not totally guaranteed) departure raises the question, as with Fernando, of what the Tigers are planning there for 2010. Right now the idea for second base seems to involve bringing up Scott Sizemore, whom we can all only hope is as willing to pose nude as Grady Sizemore, but there isn’t any clear plan for shortstop that I’ve seen. WORRISOME.
I just keep thinking back to how badly I freaked out about the lack of catching options after the Tigers jettisoned Pudge, and how tidily the Tigers patched up that problem. That was an example of the Tigers having a serious need at a hard-to-fill position, and it all worked out just fine (if not as offensively glorious as we might have wished, SHUT UP OK GERALD LAIRD IS AWESOME AND GOOD). Just fine. Everything will be fine. Finety fine fine.
Don’t forget to work on your entries for the contest!! December 10 is the deadline!