What a day

Talk about closing out 6 1/2 weeks in Lakeland with a bang.

Losing Rogers for half a season is undoubtedly huge, and with four established starters now instead of five, it could even up the Tigers’ pitching staff with the White Sox while closing the gap with the Twins. But what the Tigers arguably gained with a new deal for Guillen is something. I don’t know what it will mean in 2011, when Guillen could be a 36-year-old converted shortstop playing second or first base or the outfield or something, but it means plenty now.

Signing Jeremy Bonderman and Brandon Inge to long-term deals was one thing. Signing Guillen was another. He’s at the peak of his game now, and he could’ve been one of the more sought-after free agents on the market who might have easily topped $12 million a year from another major-market team. He took less to stay with the Tigers. The club gave more to gave him some insurance. And there you have a deal.

I told somebody today I could’ve never have imagined three years ago that guys would’ve wanted so badly to re-sign with Detroit for less than market value. I feel like I’m watching what used to be a small-market club become a major-market club, which is pretty impressive in a metro area you keep hearing is shrinking.

2 Comments

Bonderman and Inge and Guillen must have faith that the owner will continue to do what it takes to keep a winner.

Thank you, once again, Mr. Ilitch.

I wonder if he has enough cash to buy the Lions?

I was thinking the same thing, Jason. Just a little over three years ago, Fernando Vina became my favorite player in all of baseball just for agreeing to come to Detroit. How things have changed.

A lot of players stand up in the media and say “I love it here, I don’t want to leave here,” just before they accept the first lucrative offer that comes their way. When our guys say it, they mean it.

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