Granderson accepts invite to WBC

Curtis Granderson received and accepted an invitation Thursday to join Team USA for the upcoming World Baseball Classic. He’ll be in the outfield alongside current known commitments Grady Sizemore and Ryan Braun. The prospect of Sizemore and Granderson as teammates is an interesting one, given their similar talents.

Granderson’s long desire to play internationally was a part of his presentation when he joined a delegation of Major League and U.S. Olympic officials in November for a meeting with the International Olympic Committee to propose restoring baseball to the Olympic Games. One of his favorite baseball cards in his childhood collection, he said, was a Mark McGwire Team USA card from the 1984 Summer Olympics, the first for baseball as an Olympic sport.

Granderson joins what could be a sizeable list of Tigers players taking part in the World Baseball Classic. Carlos Guillen confirmed in November that he plans to participate again for Team Venezuela. Tiger teammates Magglio Ordonez and Miguel Cabrera are expected to do the same. All of them were on an early list of invited players at the end of November. Second baseman Placido Polanco could also take part for the Dominican Republic, though he said near season’s end that he was inclined not to participate this time around.

UPDATE: Add Armando Galarraga to the above list. He was not on the original list for Venezuela, but he was later invited and promptly accepted. Also, Brad Hawpe is the fourth and final outfielder invited to play for Team USA. If he accepts, he’ll take some playing time, though how that four-man, three-spot mix will work remains to be seen.

14 Comments

Good for you Curtis. I am not sure if playing in this is detrimental to the players, making a season even longer, but glad to see his willingness to compete. shouldn’t Polly now play for the US since he became a citizen?

It will be spring training before we know it. The sour taste of ’08 is just about gone, I am already getting excited about spending my evenings watching Mario and Rod and the boys in the old english D.

Another Smooth Move (Not!) by DD. A lot of decent closers have passed by this off-season. The latest is Saito. The Red Sox were not afraid to pick him up. And you know, his salary is relatively low. Way to go Dave—another one bits the dust. I guess we are going to have to reserve our excitement for a Will Ohman type. I sense a lack of true cmomittment to winning this year.
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From Ken Rosenthal:
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“The Red Sox, taking another low-risk, high-reward gamble, have signed free-agent reliever Takashi Saito to a one-year contract with a club option for 2010, according to major-league sources.

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Top stories | Rumors | Video | Photos The deal was completed after Saito passed his physical on Friday. It includes a guarantee between $1.5 million and $2.5 million, the sources said, and Saito will have the chance to earn more than $7 million if he reaches all of his incentives.

If healthy, Saito could emerge as a late-inning complement to closer Jonathan Papelbon.

Saito, who turns 39 on Feb. 14, spent the past three seasons as the Dodgers closer. He missed significant time last season with a sprained ligament in his elbow and the Dodgers did not offer him a contract for 2009, making him a free agent.

Earlier this offseason the Red Sox signed outfielder Rocco Baldelli and righthanders Brad Penny and John Smoltz to contracts that were also incentive-laden.”

This is why I am unhappy about this non-signing:
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http://www.baseball-reference.com/s/saitota01.shtml

There’s got to be a trade in the works. DD has never been a big player in the free agent market, but he’s not afraid to pull the trigger on deals. While I think the Tigers may be more competitive than we make them out to be, I can’t believe he wouldn’t address the pitching. Other than the Jackson deal, that is.
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On the plus side, the improved defense is bound to make the pitching better. I think Miner and Robertson will benefit from this the most, and that’s why I see them as valuable bullpen help.
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On the negative side, an improved defense in and of itself isn’t enough. I’d talk up Todd Jones if his surgery hadn’t been so major. Unfortunately, it was.
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Anyway, I began purchasing my spring training tickets today. I’ve included two of Venezuela’s exhibitions, and plan to attend a Team USA game too. Might as well take advantage of a WBC year.
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–Rich

Was able to take the family away for a week in the sun without mobiles or internet – the ‘isolation’ was very therapeutic.
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Wish I could say the same about our closer problem. Seems like we always have to pay over the odds to attract ‘names’ to Detroit and our $4-5m budget for closers hasn’t even got us to the final table on any of the deals made thus far.
It is increasingly looking like the fallback positions of Miner/Rodney/Nate with Dan’s ‘hope & dreams’ of our own David Price emerging from the farm real quick is looking more on the cards every day. We needed a leader for the bullpen and they have all been sewn up.

Yeah! Whoopee! Way to go DD! Great strategy! This should solve everything! What a slick ticket you are Dave. How did everyone let this guy slip through their fingers?
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http://www.freep.com/article/20090111/SPORTS02/90111064/1050/rss15
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Last year was bad enough, now we have management thinking their fan base are morons.

This IS John Parrish:
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http://www.baseball-reference.com/p/parrijo01.shtml
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Whatever happened to Fossum, McBride, Ledezma? Thi8s is an upgrade that helps Illitch but does nothing for results and the team. This is inept.

Maybe this is a red herring because this guys makes Biemel look like Koufax in comparison.

Another strange move, if it comes to pass. Parrish has pitched up there in Baltimore for years. My impression has always been one of yet another LHer with promising stuff who can’t find the plate, and has hung around in the bigs by virtue of being lefthanded.
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Maybe they’re thinking that Rick Knapp is really going to have an effect? He has a reputation for success with youngsters, but what about experienced big league pitchers? Occasionally a ML pitching coach promotes positive change, but it doesn’t happen very often.
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A very curious offseason so far.
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Is anyone having trouble signing into this site? I can only get in after jumping through several hoops and accessing my bag of tricks. Hopefully this spring’s “upgrade” will actually be one.
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–Rich

It’s getting more like a sideshow every day:
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http://eastwindupchronicle.com/ni-fu-te-signs-with-detroit-tigers/

Our bullpen being “made in Taiwan” seems fitting. :-)
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–Rich

Hey Dan, your one up on Jason on this ‘prize’ acquisition. It looks like we are down to affording to pay new players airfares, lunch vouchers at Taco Bells and a car off the Ford lot.
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I have to let go of my analytical mind and start hoping and dreaming, otherwise 2009 is looking like being awfully long and painful.
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In 2008, our pitching was ranked 12th in AL (27 of 30 overall) with a 4.90 team ERA. From this, we have lost Rogers (4.27 ERA), Jones (3.97 ERA) and Lopez (3.78 ERA); gained Jackson (5.15 ERA) and hopefully get back Bonderman (4.74 ERA).
If this doesn’t make you scared about the coming season, try getting a little frustrated or even mad when you consider what Boston has done after their ‘miserable’ season where their pitching was ranked 4th with a team ERA of 4.01.
Without any pitching losses, Boston have gained Penny (4.06 ERA) for $5m + $3m incentives; Littleton (3.69 ERA); Smoltz (3.26 ERA) for $5.5m + $4.5m inc; Saito (1.95 ERA) for $2m + $5m inc; Ramirez (3.62 ERA) for Crisp and Tazawa from Japan.
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You have to admire the Bosox management with the heavily laden incentives given to players. We on the other hand pay our core players top $$$ just for signing their contracts. How we paid the second highest payroll of $160m for coming last is a scandal.

I always appreciate a good mix of cynicism, sarcasm and hard reality Dave. Nice job on illustrating the reality.
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Bosox management comes through with some great signings but it just isn’t a level playing field. They along with the Yankees, Mets, and a couple others get huge national exposure and recognition, which is not a bad player incentive in itself. And they can out pay other teams when they need to. It’s a tough combination to compete against. Depressing really……Smoltz would have been an interesting acquisition, a nice story for Detroit, but at this stage in his career, he chose the potentially larger stage, and a team that is sure to compete. With all the pitching Boston has, there will be less pressure on him too.
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I’m convinced the only way you can compete with these teams is through drafting, player development, and always a couple key signings, with the huge emphasis put on pitching and defense. Seems like Tampa Bay, Minnesota, and maybe a couple others have this figured out. I just haven’t agreed with the decisions DD has made in building this team in the last 2 years. If the pitching fails this year it will be another dismal season. But we can still hope……..Dan, I’m feeling your pain.
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I haven’t posted in a long time but wanted you guys to know I’m still here.

Hi Marty. The pain is real. So is the confusion and scepticism.
Another side-arming lefty to clone Rapada? My guess is the guy will get a minor league assignment as we have Clay Bobby Seay and I presume, Kyle Bloom in the pen. They would be joined by either Willis or Robertson (or perhaps even both). Why on earth are they looking for another lefty in the pen?. We’re not even throwing McBride in the mix.
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They seem fixated on this lefty in the bullpen idea. I would rather they fixed it than fixate it, myself.
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Where’s the closer?

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