the arbitration ship sails on Placido Polanco

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!

18 responses to “the arbitration ship sails on Placido Polanco

  1. omg… saddest cartoon ever… epic, movie style sadness…

  2. Great-though sad-illustration. Placido will be missed. He was a terrific Tiger, and his acquistion ranks as one of the best trades in recent memory9Ugie is still sitting in a Venezuelan prison).

  3. Love the drawing. Love that you capture the “extensions” Polanco’s temples seem to have.

    One small thing, though. With Type B free agents, the team they’re leaving gets supplemental picks (between 1st and 2nd round) as compensation. The team signing them doesn’t lose anything.

  4. Casey on the Bench

    Sam, the Type B free agents actually net a supplemental pick if they sign elsewhere–part of what makes them more attractive to other teams is not losing that high pick. See for details.

  5. Hurp durr, of course. No idea where my brain was at when I wrote that.

    Those skull extensions always fascinated me. They kind of look like over-developed jaw muscles…

  6. Polly! Nooo! Come back! :(

    I am now officially freaked out about the state of the center of our infield. We have some rookie at 2nd, and no clue what’s going on at short. (Not to mention Party Boy at first and Ole Gimpy- But-Hopefully-Surgically-Repaired Knees, at third.) Eeek. Tell me this is all going to be okay.

  7. I have a VERY bad feeling about next year. Especially when a veteran pillar is allowed to leave. :(



    I too am starting to get a very bad feeling about next year, but not for the same reasons… more for, like, the fact that I have no idea who is going to start games and also who is going to close them, and who is going to play in the infield… D:

  9. Well… there’s the subject of the next blog. Who will play the infield?! Inge at 3rd and Miggy at 1st, but then who’s at SS and 2B? Not a pretty sight.

  10. Surely Lynn Henning will posit any day the idea that Miguel Cabrera will move back to 3rd, Carlos Guillen will play 1st, Brandon Inge will play 2nd, Ramon Santiago at short, and some combo of Ryan Raburn and Clete Thomas will play left field. It will all be made up in his head, but surely there is a column boiling somewhere on his hard drive even as I type this. Have I mentioned my irrational hatred of Lynn Henning lately?

  11. Ha ha, h2o, you actually did just give me the idea for the next post’s image. Assuming no other moves go down today.

    Jeff, you forgot the TRADE CURTIS GRANDERSON chatter! The most important part of any Henning article!

    Even the fake idea of Cabrera moving back to 3rd made me shudder. DO NOT WANT.

  12. Well, in the Trade Curtis Granderson version, they get Starlin Castro from the Cubs to play SS, Ramon Santiago moves to 2B, Raburn plays center and left is manned by Casper Wells and right is manned by Clete Thomas, and Brandon Inge RETURNS TO CATCHING. Magglio will be the full-time DH. Also, he predicts that Justin Verlander and Edwin Jackson will tie for the league lead in games started next year at 80 each. The other 2 starts will go to Jeremy Bonderman, who will pitch no-hitters both times. I AM TELLING YOU, THE INSANITY OF LYNN HENNING KNOWS NO BOUNDS.

  13. Also, he predicts that Justin Verlander and Edwin Jackson will tie for the league lead in games started next year at 80 each. The other 2 starts will go to Jeremy Bonderman, who will pitch no-hitters both times.


  14. I felt shocked when I heard Polanco was traded fo Philly. I’ll miss seeing him next year at Comerica Park. Nice picture, as well. Looks like Placido could use a hanky as well

  15. Awesome. I’m looking forward to your next entry. :)

    In sadder news, rumors here in NYC are that Polly has been signed by the Phillies; teh internets confirm a 3 year $18M contract. That makes me a sad Tiger. :(

  16. “I always wanted to be here, I never wanted to leave,” Polanco said.”

    That is what he said according to this article.

    Waaah. Polly you’ve just come close to killing all the love for you I have accumulated over these last few years.

  17. Uuuugh heitk1le, that just made me die a little. Both his Gold Gloves and his best batting was with us.

    Died. Just a little.

  18. D: D: D:

    noooooooooooo la la lalalalala i can’t hear it

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