Polanco could've made a cash grab

Talked with Dave Dombrowski this afternoon about their decisions on arbitration to free agents, and his remarks echoed the sentiments that were out there. While Dombrowski isn’t bidding farewell to Polanco and plans to keep in touch with his agents, the Levinson brothers, he indicated there was a real chance — maybe more than a chance — that Polanco might have accepted an arbitration offer and gone to a hearing.

Good deal, right? The Tigers would get Polanco on a one-year contract.

Actually, it’s not that simple.

The risk, Dombrowski said, was that Polanco would go to a hearing and ask for more money than the Tigers would be comfortable doing. It sounds unlikely in this market until you consider long-term contracts last winter for other All-Star second basemen, such as Brian Roberts ($10 million per year) and Dustin Pedroia (6 years, $40.5 million, including $31 million over the final three seasons). They also could’ve used other free-agent infielders as a reference point.

No fault in doing so; I just wanted to use the term “cash grab” in a headline.

As it is, Polanco instantly becomes a hotter commodity on the market now that teams don’t have to give up a first- or second-round Draft pick for him.

The relievers, Fernando Rodney and Brandon Lyon, were a different story. Dombrowski essentially confirmed what others such as agent Barry Meister have suggested, that Rodney and Lyon are looking for multi-year deals and stand a decent chance to get them.

“I would be very surprised if either of them accepted [arbitration],” Dombrowski said.

That said, interestingly, Dombrowski didn’t write off Detroit’s chances of re-signing them, either. He’ll keep in touch with their agents — Rodney is also a Levinson client — and see where it goes. Even as Meister fully expects to get a multi-year deal for Lyon, he said there’s mutual interest from the two parties in re-signing.

Could the Tigers be open to a multi-year contract to keep a reliever? I don’t think you can write that off quite yet. But they might have to clear some payroll space to do it.

7 Comments

So far, the only good thing I see happening is that the Tigers did Polanco a huge favor. He could get his multi-year contract somewhere because there will be no draft picks involved, just the money needed to sign him. Placido has been such a good player for the Tigers and now they seem to be thanking him for his service. I realize this will be a great loss for the team but maybe it will exhibit some good will that may convince another player to sign with the Tigers in the future. I am sure we will hear many negative comments about this move so I am trying to find a positive outlook. I hope it all works out.

Well, he’ll probably get at the minimum a nice 2 or even 3 year deal with some team. Not sure who is looking for a 2nd baseman or what team would like to upgrade at that position. We’ll surely miss him. He did a wonderful job for the Tigers.

I’m not buying that excuse at all. Roberts hit 18 HR and stole 30 bases, and still plays GG caliber defense.
Pedroia can’t be used as a comparison, any more than the tigers could use some third year player making the minimum. Their experience levels are totally different.
Polanco’s salary history shows he never made more than 4.6 million.
He’d get about 6 million in arbitration, but DD has shot the wad with $ 72 million in immovable contracts, and precious few prospects to trade to fill the holes left by departing free agents.
So, we have a downgraded offense, defense, and bullpen. And if DD can trade Jackson, we’ll have a downgraded rotation too.
All that chatter about improving the defense was bunk.
That was about being cheap, as was signing Everett, signing Lyon, and failing to fix the bullpen annually.
DD needs to be held accountable for this mess.

Actually tigerdog he could get more than $6 mill. He would probably get between 8 and 10 in arbitration. He has had over a 300 average in all but one of his seasons with us and has two gold gloves(two out of the last three years). They would take into account the gold gloves as well(Roberts has only one one). I still would have offered him arbitration though, he may have taken it but lets face it this is his last chance to get a big mutliyear deal. I wish him the best and hope he goes and plays with his best friend Pujols!

Don’t make too much out of Polanco’s salary history. The $4.6 million he made each of the last four seasons came from a long-term contract he signed soon after coming to Detroit in 2005. He was with a team that wanted him, with a full-time position at second base, and he understandably opted for security over getting the last dollar. He vastly outperformed that contract, and he could make a haul in arbitration.
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The Phillies were reportedly looking at Polanco, Adrian Beltre and Mark DeRosa to fill their third base opening. Polanco is the only one of that group who wasn’t offered arbitration, and thus wouldn’t cost the Phillies a draft pick.

This decision tells me it is indeed about the money and nothing else. So that much is clear. I’ll form my opinions from that viewpoint.
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Must be nice to make a fortune doing either a poor job or no job at all. I’m not sure I could live with myself being paid for doing nothing.
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DD has had the money and he blew it. His name can be added to those getting paid high dollars for doing a poor job.
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That’s how I see it.
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–Rich

Rich: You can’t blame all of the bad contracts on DD. He can’t help it that Bondo,Carlos, and Nate all have been injured quite abit. Bondo and Nate were comming off great years and we still young and had never had an injury history. Now you can blame him for the Willis signing. I believe he had to take Willis to get Caby but I don’t think he needed to give him the big contract. All of the off season movies he made worked out last season(Jackson,Everett,Laird, and Lyon). He did that without much money to spend and they all made our team better, so I think he is doing a pretty good job. Now as long as he either gets alot for Granderson or Jackson in a trade or signs someone very good next off season when most of the bad contracts come off the books, then everyone should be happy with him.

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