Galarraga named Tigers Rookie of the Year

Not really a surprise, but the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association made it official on Monday. Armando Galarraga finished tied with Jair Jurrjens among Major League rookies with 13 wins, while his 126 strikeouts led all AL rookies.


Sure would be nice if a team had two young starters like Galarraga and Jurrgens at the same time. That team would be one to be reckoned with for a while.

Nope, no surprise at all, but congratulations to Galarraga.
Good mailbag today, and some very informative answers, Jason.
Regarding Guillen in leftfield, I think he can do well there if he wants to, and I’m sure he’ll want to. The one thing we may miss is his presence as the non-titular captain of the infield.
The comment on the Renteria trade was something we’d discussed here over the past year and it’s agreed, if the Cabrera deal had come first, everything would have been different. I still hold the opinion that management underrated Jurrjens, however. By this time last year, that deal had been done, so I think we’re having a better offseason already. 🙂

Congrats Armando – well deserved. I hope you can continue on in 2009 with the same work ethic and demeanor that faired so well for you this year. And I hope Verlander can remember that feeling and get himself back on track.

Just taking a break at work and thought I’d write a few comments:

1) I’m hoping the experiment of Guillen in left field works– that could be huge for the team.
2) Starting pitching is the number one key for a better year next year: Verlander, Bonderman, Gallaraga and two others must step up. (I’m cheering for Miner and Dontrelle)
3) The next most important, in my mind, is Sheffield. Is he coming back? I see nothing (other than a review of his stats last year) to indicate otherwise. If he does come back and under-performs, that’s a major hole to fill in the lineup.
4) Assuming that Sheffield and/or someone else fills the DH role adequately and the Tigers have enough other hitters, I think they can absorb the potential of a sub-par hitting catcher (Dusty Ryan), Inge, and Santiago in the lineup. That’s not a particularly scary bottom of the order but assuming pitching gets better and Sheffield rebounds, the lineup and defense should be pretty good.
5) I’m hoping the Tigers shop Ordonez pretty hard. If you look at the deals last year, the team that traded the aging veteran typically won out on the deal. For instance, the Twins did good trading Santana, the Orioles did great trading Bedard and Tejada. I do love watching Magglio hit but if they can stock up on some younger, faster players, I think it would do the team a ton of good in the long run. (I reserve the right to change my mind on this point.) Joyce is enticing as an option in left field.
6) Let’s hope that Larish proves he can play third base and can hit well enough to take over for Inge. If he can, I say let Brandon be a super-utility guy and late inning 3rd base defensive replacement. I know he plays 3rd base great but he doesn’t hit well enough to truly justify a full-time position. (IMHO)
7) Santiago, Santiago, Santiago… my desperate attempt to convince DD not to spend big bucks on an aging, unnecessary SS free agent.
8) Young guys are the key for the ‘pen. Don’t overpay for stiffs. (Farnsworth included) It would be nice to have a closer but I’ve got to believe that one will emerge. (Let’s all pray its Zumaya with a 98MPH heater.)
9) Did I read correctly that Pudge was classified as a lower free agent than Varitek? I know Pudge has lost a bit as far as hitting as well as in his defense, but its not even close when comparing the two. Perhaps Varitek just had a bad post-season, but that guy couldn’t catch up to anything at the plate. If the Red Sox offer Varitek arbitration and a team gives up a first round pick to sign him, my jaw would drop.
10) What do the Tigers think of Ryan Raburn? Is he a potential replacement for Polanco down the road or just a career back-up? When he gets playing time, he looks to me like he could hit in the majors, anyone care to offer an opinion? Is Hollimon the better prospect?
Okay– gotta read a bit on the election (very exciting day) and then back to the grind.

One more quick question: Does anyone know how often a Type-A free agent is offered arbitration and then signs with another team? Would teams intentionally avoid a player if he’s been offered arbitration? I would think so but don’t know how often it happens. I’d love to see the Tigers turn Renteria into an extra first round pick but would be worried about getting stuck paying him for another year. Anyone have thoughts or stats on this?

Gman was truly amazing. A rookie and the only pitcher, with the possible exception of Miner who did not fall apart by seasons end.
You would have to think the money is not going to be there this year for trades – the big tickets like Manny, ARod & CC will likely hide an overall fall in values. Renteria’s $12m 2009 Contract Option is crazy stuff and no possible extra pick is worth the likely arbitration. We just have to slowly move on from the stupid past 2 years of paying too much for slow players, poor defence, long contracts for players past their prime and for players with poor technique.
You got to feel for DD at this weeks GM’s meeting. Sitting in the corner and no one coming near him with his list of Sheff’s $14m, Willis $10m, Nate’s $7m and Inge $6m. Magg’s $18m bait is also getting a touch on the nose.
I hate getting cynical over DD so please prove me wrong this off season!!

Dave– I hear ya on the contract amounts making it difficult to move folks but I think the cynicism is a bit harsh. I was worried about Sheff when they signed that contract and my worries look justified. We all knew we were ovepaying Maggs a while back but we had no choice– needed a bigtime player and its hard to argue with his production. The other three are questionable calls– Willis needed to be signed and the Tigers gambled he’d be able to return to form. If he can– and thats a big if– 10 million is a gamble. Remember– this guy was a Cy Young candidate. Nate at 7 Million doesn’t look too good but he has been a productive pitcher– he’s just losing effectiveness in years when he should be at his max… doesn’t make sense. Inge– that was probably a mistake– he’s not much of a hitter and signed the contract after ’06– by far his best year. Still, he can be a valuable back-up– albeit an overpaid backup.

Regardless, the Tigers are selling out the stadium and are making money so salary isn’t such a concern… if they had a good season last year no one would care. That being said, I don’t think major surgery is needed and/or possible. The pitchers have to pitch better and a few small trades/moves can drastically improve this team. (Yes– I’m the total optimist on this blog.) However, I really don’t think there’s a better team in the AL– Cleveland is suspect, Chicago is inconsistent, the Royals are still in Kansas City, and the Twins– well, they scare the heck out of me every year. The Tigers have a solid foundation and just need their top guys to bounce back…

Alright, that’s it for me. I live in DC so I’m headed to an obligatory election party… hopefully a victory party!

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