Yes, there's still free agency for Tigers

While trade rumors build around the Tigers regarding players they control, their interest in their own free agents hasn’t gone away, at least not for most of them.

The Tigers have had contact with the agents for relievers Fernando Rodney and Brandon Lyon, second baseman Placido Polanco and shortstop Adam Everett, but those discussions were believed to be preliminary ahead of follow-up talks later.

Meanwhile, president/general manager Dave Dombrowski confirmed to Booth Newspapers that they will not be pursuing free agents Jarrod Washburn and Aubrey Huff, both late-season trade acquisitions for the Tigers this past summer who struggled down the stretch.

Neither was expected to be a Tigers target. Washburn had told reporters last week that he hadn’t heard from the Tigers other than to check on his knee after surgery.

“We called both Jarrod and Aubrey this week and told them we will not be pursuing them,” Dombrowski told Booth Newspapers. “We wished them well.”

Dombrowski said the team had not made such calls to its other four free agents.

The Tigers acquired Washburn from Seattle at the nonwaiver trade deadline July 31, but knee problems hampered him in August and September until the Tigers shut him down for the final couple weeks. He posted a 1-3 record and 7.33 ERA in eight Tigers starts, compared with an 8-6 record and 2.64 ERA in 20 starts for the Mariners.

Huff batted .189 with two homers and 13 RBIs in 40 games for the Tigers after coming over from Baltimore in a mid-August trade. Detroit’s plans to rotate players between designated hitter and the outfield, including Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen, essentially sealed Huff’s departure.

The Tigers hold exclusive negotiating rights on their free agents for seven more days. Other teams can talk to them now, and all four have drawn interest, but those teams can’t make contract offers or talk contract terms until next Friday.

By then, the Tigers should have a better idea about any trade talks, where they may lead, and what holes any deals could fill.

All four are expected to seek multi-year contracts, according to industry sources, but that’s no surprise. The Tigers didn’t sign any free agent or arbitration-eligible player to a multi-year contract last year, and aside from possibly Justin Verlander, it remains to be seen whether they would do so now.

Prospect Scott Sizemore has been deemed ready for the big leagues, while relievers Cody Satterwhite and Robbie Weinhardt could conceivably be ready within a year. Shortstop is a different situation, and barring a trade acquisition, there’s expected to be mutual interest for Everett to return.

12 Comments

Gosh, there’s so much talk about the Tigers and their GM. I remember Mr. Dombrowski making a very telling statement after game #163. Can’t quote it but I remember him saying it was “heartbreaking” and something to the effect that it would be years before we got over it. I think management just realizecd only recently we have had a “crash.” The team is now in “fiscal responsibility” mode according to DD. The trading speculation is nerve-wracking and I’ll be glad to know who goes and who stays. Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone is going to resign. Grandy is probably in 7th heaven with all the talk out there. I don’t think he’d be too disappointed to leave Detroit. As much as we love him, we may have to let him go.

Good call, pup. ………….Think of it this way: The earth is 4.6 billion years old, the human race has only risen to dominate the earth for the past 10,000 years and many, many great players have come – and gone from great city to city. I have anything for curtis, anytime he needs it – but if he’s out – it’s because the detroit tigers needed a huge turn around, and they had to sign some suicide contracts and they had to take some chances too (willis, sheff, robertson, ect) but when it’s all said and done…i just want to get behind a respectable team with real spirit. Go Tigers, biatches.

That was a very good reflective post from Marty with the trading of Miggs a creditible option. Moving Miggs for one big trade makes a lot of sense besides giving Carlos a position for the next two years.
I have yet to make my mind up on Miggs. He has the potential to be one of the top five offensive players of his generation and in one season has become a useful 1st basemen.
However, is he man enough to be able to handle the attention and responsibility that goes with the turf with his transgressions just a hiccup resulting from a wife who would rather be back home that tipped him over as he also tried to carry the load of older team mates on his inexperienced shoulders. Is management being perceptive and supportive, or just turning a blind eye to Migg’s problems that reflected in his up and down season. I think only those in the clubhouse can answer that at this stage.
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DD states his trades will be about improving the roster. Until he is man enough to own up to his overpaid, underperforming contracts and trade them out, even for a dime in one case, the Tigers will never reach their potential whilst they pervade the bullpen and dugout.

I would like to know why you think Curtis wants to go??? Has he ever said anything to make you believe that???? I personally have never heard such remarks.
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gk\

It’s not just one specific remark he’s made but several over the past several years that make me believe that. He has said many time how much he loves playing on the Angels’ field, how “depressed” he felt after a fundraiser when he looked out and the city was dark. He’s also stated many times, he’s never played on a losing team. That’s just from his mouth. Supposedly, a friend said he’d love to play for the Yankees. His home is in Chicago. How much would he love playing for his home town team. Just those things are what make me think that way.

All great comments on the last 3 threads. Marty, nice writing and you asked for some help from Stat man Dave! Kaline was from Baltimore but Detroit became home because of the fans. Grandy could do the same. The auto industry in Detroit has sure changed things. No one really knows what the economy will be like in 5 years. It is sad that there has to be so many long term contracts and players are not loyal and just want the money. How much money do you need? Ok, so DD blew it on the Willis deal. He took a chance. Why try to change so many things year after year? We were so close this year. A few years ago Maybin and Miller were untouchable and then we thought Miggs was the same. I agree about your star player or players who usually make the most money to be true leaders. Is Cabrera that guy or do we trade him for 3 players and see him in the Hall of Fame and the end of his career? We have the pitching and defense. Do not trade Grandy or Jackson, just manage them. We could have started Miner and rested Edwin if he was wearing down. We could have rested Inge when he had sore knees. I think we are 1 piece away from having a good team for years to come. And we have a good farm system. –Dave

I haven’t talked directly with Curtis, but I’ve talked with several people around him. I do not have the impression that he’s pulling for a trade. My impression is that the endless rumors are probably weighing on him, much like they are on everyone else around here.

Thanks, Jason, for the clarity. I have never interpreted anything Curtis has said as meaning he would like to go elsewhere. In fact, I think making a statement about being sad looking at our dark city shows he really cares about Detroit. I don’t think you can deny that he has given back 150% to this community. And he could just as easily have gone to Hollywood and hung out with the do-gooders there. His foundation moved their offices to Detroit this past year. That certainly doesn’t sound like someone wanting to move on.
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As for stating he loves playing at Angels Stadium- of course he does- his offensive stats there are the best of any place. And- many professional athletes never play on a losing team until they hit the big leagues. They were always 300% better than anyone else they were playing with in high school, college, wherever….and at that level, one huge star player can carry a team much more than when you are playing against the best players in the world.
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I know it’s a business, but I get choked up thinking of a Tigers team without Curtis, and I really hope they find a way to keep him.

-Tracey

So far this offseason (only 10 days old), none of the rumors have made any sense. I can’t define any discernable goals from any of it. One GM reports that DD wants young players, but we’re talking of trading Jackson and Granderson, who are both young players. Then there is the payroll issue, but both Granderson and Jackson are not among the highly paid at this point. Then there’s a poor free agent market, so we don’t need money for that. On top of all this, there will be payroll freed up after 2010. None of this adds up, so I’m not going to concern myself with these rumors.
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I don’t see why we can’t re-sign our own free agents with the exception of Rodney. Let him go. This team is good enough to compete in 2010. What should have been done was to delay Leyland’s contract extension so he could have been let go after the disastrous end of season that he orchestrated. Let’s talk plugging a .189 hitter into the 5-hole everyday and wondering how many games that cost. It burns me that we’re on the brink of losing good fan favorites just because JL can’t manage a ballclub. I come to the same conclusion everytime because it’s what I firmly believe. The players and fans suffer, but JL goes his merry way.
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–Rich

OK, I hear ‘ya on Grandy. Inge has always said the only team he ever wants to play for is Detroit. The point I’m trying to make is Grandy may or may not feel that way about playing for the Tigers. That’s all, just an impression.

First of all, Granderson isn’t going anywhere unless the Tigers can get back multiple young, inexpensive players to fill multiple roster spots, immediately. Since all of that $ 72 million in bad contracts are going to immovable players, and since the farm is pretty bare (since DD sold it at least twice over), the only thing the Tigers have to offer are their young talented players. He’s going no-where and the notion that he wants out of Detroit is bunk.
Granderson or Jackson would not be dealt because of their salaries. Jackson has two more seasons of arbitration, in which he should make about 5 million next season. I don’t think he has been consistent enough to give a four year contract to, but that’s exactly what has gotten DD into this payroll mess to begin with.
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Now back to the topic of free agents:
A LIST OF ALL FREE AGENTS SIGNED BY DD FOR 3 YEARS
Jose Mesa- ONE year, $ 2 million
Francisco Cruceta- ONE year, $ 400K
Adam Everett- ONE year, $ 1 million
Brandon Lyon- ONE year, $ 4.25 million
Matt Treanor- ONE year, $ 750K
Kenny Rogers, extended ONE year
Sean Casey, extended ONE year
Todd Jones, extended ONE year
THAT’s IT, folks. Three years, all one year deals, all some sort of bargain deal. DD won’t pay top dollar for a closer, won’t pay set up money for a set up man, and generally doesn’t get into bidding wars for free agents.
Arbitration should be offered to Rodney, Lyon, and Polanco.
Everett should be replaced with a complete player. He was the second worst hitter in the league vs RHP’s, in 2009.
You can’t tell me that Everett was signed for his defense, then let Polanco walk for nothing. Everett was signed because he was cheap, and he’d take a one year deal while the great Cale Iorg was putting the finishing touches on his future All Star career. GONGGGGGGG! Time for a bona fide shortstop. One that can lead off, get on base, and run.

If the Tigers are to make a blockbuster deal, I wonder if the Angels would take on Cabrera’s contract, in a package centered around Kendry Morales? Morales, Kendrick, Maicer Izturis, Brandon Wood, Erick Aybar, and enough money to sign Chone Figgins, would all be welcome additions to the Tigers. Some combination of the above would be very attractive, IMO.

pup6969, agree, not offering arbitration to Polanco was a mistake. We need to sign **** now, possibly we can live with Santiago if Polly was around. But I guess he’d not accept and we just lost the two draft picks. Hope Edwin stays, he will be decent for the whole next season and we can trade him for much more than now. Tigers can be in pretty good shape with SP, if anyone of Bonderman, Galarraga, Willis, Robertson prove they still can pitch. However I’d like to see one more no-risk, non-roster invitee – Freddy Garcia or similar. Hope Zumaya is the new closer, with Perry, Ni and Weinhart letting us forget about Rodney and Lyon.
Hitting-wise, with Polly gone, we can’t afford Sizemore and Everett in the same lineup (with Laird, Inge and perhaps Guillen) – Tejada or Cabrera would be much better, one more reason to label Polly situation as dumb.

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