Polanco's 3-year deal and arbitration

Placido Polanco’s three-year, $18 million contract with the Phillies marks the second time in as many year that a Tigers free-agent infielder has signed a multi-year deal after Detroit declined to offer arbitration. Both Polanco and Edgar Renteria were Type A free agents, meaning Detroit would’ve gotten two draft picks each had they offered arbitration and the free agents had turned it down.

How negotiations unfolded proves interesting. By all accounts, interest in Polanco picked up a couple days ago once the Tigers declined to offer him arbitration. However, MLB.com’s Phillies writer, Todd Zolecki, wrote that the Phillies and Polanco were in serious discussions beforehand:

It appeared the Phillies and Polanco’s representatives were in serious
discussions before the Tigers decided not to offer Polanco salary
arbitration before Tuesday’s 11:59 p.m. ET deadline. The fact that
Philadelphia will not have to forfeit its first-round pick in the 2010
First-Year Player Draft to sign him must have made him even more
attractive to the team.

Would Philly have moved in on him so quickily if it had to give up a draft pick to sign him? Not sure, but it’s difficult to envision the Red Sox and Astros, among other clubs, moving on him if they had to.

There was a definite feeling leading up to Tuesday’s deadline that an arbitration offer would’ve hurt Polanco’s market value. There were also strong indications that Polanco probably would’ve accepted the offer and gone to arbitration looking for a one-year salary on par with some of the bigger contracts for second basemen out there. He would’ve almost surely received a bigger salary than the $6 million he’ll average per year in Philly, possibly much bigger, and he would’ve been back on the market next winter at age 35.

The Tigers could’ve called his bluff if they thought that’s what it was. But given their payroll and their needs left to fill, they couldn’t have afforded a big salary — had they lost an arbitration case — at a position where they already felt they had a replacement ready.

15 Comments

Didn’t say 2-hole. I meant second base. Sorry for any confusion.

And how is it you can post replies from the future anyway?

That last sentence is baloney. Sorry, Jason. I know you have to strike a precarious balance with what you write. I don’t care how good the kid is, he will not be a 2 hole hitter for years. Who is going to bat second???

Polly has to be one of the games real gentlemen and a quiet, solid rock for any teams foundation. He would never have tried to take management to the cleaners in arbitration as long as they were genuine from the word go.
A decent Tiger GM could have offered Polly a 2 year $4m + $6m Contract that Polly would have likely accepted.
At least not offering arbitration generated the interest enabling Polly to get a 3rd year on his new Contract.
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I don’t like the way the trade talk is going with Lyon more likely than Rodney to be gone.
DD’s ‘rebuilding’ during the off season has been downright depressing thus far.

Even though I didn’t think he’d be back it really is sad to see Polly go. As if the Phillies weren’t good enough, now there getting one of the better all-around players in the league at least in my opinion.

Hope Sizemore works out for us. If Everett gets traded who is playing SS next year? Santiago? There are a lot of question marks on this team as of right now.

Well, say what you want about it, Polanco is gone and apparently Sizemore is at 2nd base. Do they have a Plan B in case Sizemore doesn’t cut it? With a team that had trouble scoring runs, they have lost one of their best get-on-base players. Now I wonder what else they have up their sleeve.

Oh, so sad to Polly go, he is a terrific players, a gamer who puts in a hard days work every time he is on the field. He has a great approach at the plate. I was hoping we’d keep him for another year, the Sizemore issue with the ankle worries me.

Best of luck Polanco – Detroit will miss you and I hope Polanco realizes how much the fans appreciate him.

Well, here’s another stupid move by Dumbrowski. Why would you just let a guy go (and get nothing in return!) when he’s one of your most consistent hitters, not to mention an amazing fielder? For a team that had trouble scoring runs to give up a hitter that puts the ball in play and is very difficult to strike out is just idiotic, in my opinion. Add into that the fact that he’s a great guy, a leader in the clubhouse and on the infield. Just when I think DD couldn’t possibly pull off yet another boneheaded move, he does just that. So now we have an unproven, 25 year old 2nd baseman that hasn’t really played any significant innings in the majors instead of a steady veteran that we know can produce. Real smart!
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In all of this, I am extremely happy for Polly and his family. 3 years and $18M is a great deal for him, and the Phillies are a great team that he will make better.

It really saddened me to read the news. The only one close to his caliber in fielding was G.Laird, @ .997 and he doesn’t have the Gold Gloves on his shelf. Two gold gloves out of the last three years? An undeniable clutch hitter to boot. What a shame. I am sure, there is always a second side of the story, but I will miss hearing Polanco’s name called second in the lineup! Good bye, and good luck. You are a talented man in baseball.

“I guess I have something new to ask for on my Christmas wish list!”-jim

One word SAD!!!!!!!!!!

There was no confusion on your part. I was just going one step further in asking who the heck is going to bat second. And I have no idea how I can post into the future! I think it happens with a lot of us.

I am saying the “replacement ready” is pure bs.

An interesting first interview Polly had after the signing. Quotes on the Phillies include they play as a team, not individuals; the chemistry; everyone plays to win; I want to win and never wanted to leave.
Polly did not mention the Tigers but now going back to the Phillies, his comments on the positives of the Phils to me reflect in his mind key differences between the teams.
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The one Tiger in my mind who aches to win is JV. DD is obviously putting $$$ ahead of winning which will kill any desires JV may have had to remain a Tiger. DD will now have to pay way over the market to entice JV to sign a long term contract.
All just false economy along with how many season ticketholders wont sign up or reduce their allocations particularly when signature players like Polly and Curtis are (likely) gone and the same old guard are still aimlessly driving the bus.

I am amazed by the comments I have read so far this offseason regarding the Tigers. Evidently, many Tigers fans do not understand economics, long-term planning, or things like free agency and arbitration.
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Would the fans rather have a competitive team from 2011-2015 with the possibility of a shaky 2010? Or would they rather have a 2010 that would be at best similar to 2009 and then a miserable next few years? If the young guys are ever going to become solid major leaguers, they will have to get a shot at some point. Better to do it now, so the Tigers will know who they absolutely need to target in free agency/trades next year when a ton of money comes off the books.
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People denigrate Dombrowski for signing guys to long-term deals (Willis, Bonderman, Robertson, Ordonez, Inge, etc.) and now are upset that he doesn’t with Polanco, who is in the late stages of his career. Remember, Dombrowski brought us a World Series appearance and a team that was in 1st place all year…would you guys rather have Randy Smith so we could continue to trade Brad Ausmus back and forth year after year and finish last? Really?

By the way, I enjoyed seeing Polanco play with the Tigers and hoped he would come back on a 1 year deal via arbitration, and I understand that it is sad to see your favorites go…

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