Tigers expected to tender contract to Zumaya

The speculation surrounding Joel Zumaya’s future with the Tigers seems to be reaching a conclusion. Not only is the team expected to tender a contract to their hard-throwing, oft-injured reliever, they could reach a deal sooner rather than later.

Joel Zumaya said by phone Tuesday morning that his agents have started talks with the Tigers about a contract, presumably a one-year deal that would take him into free agency next winter. Even if a deal doesn’t come together in the next couple days, Thursday’s deadline to tender contracts shouldn’t come into play. Zumaya, who has been wondering about his situation himself after reading reports, indicated he was told the Tigers have no intention of nontendering him.

The Tigers haven’t yet announced their nontender decisions, which basically come down to Zumaya and starter Armando Galarraga, and they probably won’t until sometime Thursday. But a look at the situation breaks down like this: While there’s a risk to paying a million dollars or so to somebody who hasn’t had a full, healthy season since 2006, there’s another risk of watching Zumaya finally put together a healthy season for another team, reaping the benefits of all the time the Tigers put in getting him healthy.

When asked how much interest Zumaya would attract on the open market if the Tigers nontendered him, one Major League talent evaluator put it this way: “More than some think.”

4 Comments

sure hope they can work out a deal…sometimes it’s a swing and miss with guys coming off injury (see Ben Sheets, Chien Ming Wang) but certain guys are worth the cost to find out. Zumaya is in that crowd.

Sheets got $10 million last year, guaranteed. Wang signed for $2 million, plus another $3 million in incentives. Zumaya will probably get in the neighborhood of $1 million. In the Tigers’ bigger picture, financially at least, it’s not a big risk.

It’s a good move. From a business standpoint, he can still bring some value on the market and he’s not expensive at this time. From a fan’s viewpoint, it’s still Joel Zumaya, man. He’s part of the total package that makes up the Detroit Tigers. Don’t tell me you don’t get a little energy burst when Zoom sprints in from the bullpen. A big contract year coming up, so now’s the time, Joel.
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It will be interesting to see how the Zach Miner business plays out. I’m nowhere near giving up on him. JL won’t be here forever (I don’t think?) and there may still be a starting job in Miner’s future.
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–Rich

1/3 of a season of Joel is worth $1 million considering today’s salary levels. I know it isn’t necessarily during the stretch run, but you would easily pay $1 million to sign a guy like Zumaya at the July 31 trade deadline for the remainder of the season, right?
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I wouldn’t mind seeing Miner back. When healthy he is a better version of Eddie Bonine. Nothing special, but serviceable in long relief and spot starting.

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