Results tagged ‘ Armando Galarraga ’
Dave Dombrowski had finished up his question-and-answer session with fans this morning when he did a group interview with the media. Among the topics that came up was an update on trade talks for Armando Galarraga, whom the Tigers have a little less than a week to move (trade, release or outright to minors).
The Cubs are on the verge of sending Tom Gorzelanny to Washington for
prospects. Joe Blanton no longer looks like a sure bet to be traded out
of Philadelphia. The quality of the remaining free-agent market drops
precipitously after Carl Pavano.
What’s a team looking for starting pitching left to do?
Could they go for Armando Galarraga?
That’s what Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski is counting
on. He’s strong enough about it that he thinks he stands a better
chance of trading Galarraga now than Spring Training. Otherwise, he
probably wouldn’t have designated him for assignment Tuesday to make
room for Brad Penny.
Instead of waiting until March, the Tigers have 10 days to try to deal Galarraga.
“I’m confident,” Dombrowski said Tuesday when asked about his chances of
finding a trade partner for his former fifth starter. “You never know
until you get it done. We’ve had enough clubs express some interest.
It’s not like I have a for-sure deal, but I do have enough clubs that
have asked me about him.”
By no means is Galarraga an answer for teams looking for a front-line
starter. For teams needing a fifth starter who has been through a few
seasons, though, Galarraga is an option. That list could be longer than
expected, now that waiting for the Tigers to release Galarraga in Spring
Training is no longer an option.
The Tigers’ return for Galarraga might be only marginally better than
what they received last spring for Nate Robertson. Galarraga doesn’t
have an untradeable contract, or a significant injury history, but he’s
coming off an up-and-down season and a stretch.
Considering Galarraga’s issues with attacking the strike zone last
summer, he’s the type of pitcher who might benefit from a pitching coach
who views him as a bit of a project to restore his confidence.
The Tigers could still end up bringing Galarraga to camp if no team
claims him on waiver. He could then be outrighted to Triple-A Toledo and
brought to Spring Training as a non-roster invite. But with the Tigers
rotation clearly set, and prospects Andy Oliver, Charlie Furbush and
Jacob Turner also likely to get stretched out in terms of innings, the
Tigers could have a problem finding the innings to showcase Galarraga
The Tigers will go another winter without an arbitration hearing, continuing their streak by agreeing to terms on a one-year contract with right-hander Armando Galarraga.
The deal, announced Tuesday, is reportedly worth $2.3 million for the first-time arbitration eligible Galarraga. It bridges what was expected to be a potentially difficult gap between what Galarraga wanted after the better part of three seasons in Detroit’s rotation, and what the Tigers wanted for someone whose rotation chances for 2011 now look shaky after last week’s signing of Brad Penny.
Galarraga had a statistical conundrum of a season, and his would-be perfect game ruined by umpire Jim Joyce’s blown call was just the start of it. Galarraga could never turn that June 2 outing into momentum for the summer, and finished the year with a 4-9 record and 4.49 ERA. He made $438,000 last year.
Not since Eric Hillman in 1993 had a Major League pitcher won four games or less in a season when they posted a 4.50 ERA or less over at least 140 innings. Just three others besides Hillman had pulled off that feat since 1985: Larry McWilliams and Zane Smith in 1989, and John Dopson in 1988. Galarraga was the first American League pitcher to do it since Frank Tanana in 1981.
Galarraga’s puzzling 2010 season came two years after he came out of an obscure minor-league trade with Texas to lead the Tigers in victories in 2008, going 13-7 with a 3.73 ERA. He has gone 10-19 in the two seasons since, seen his walk-to-strikeout ratio deterioriate and struggle to pound the strike zone with the same effective he enjoyed as a rookie.
Galarraga’s contract is not fully guaranteed. The Tigers can let him go into Spring Training and compete for a spot, but could conceivably release him by March 15 and owe him just 30 days’ termination pay, or just under $380,000. If they released him by March 30, they would owe him 45 days’ pay, or just under $569,000.
They could also try to trade him, or they could keep him around as a reliever if he doesn’t take a rotation spot.
For reference sake, Galarraga will earn the exact same salary Jeremy Bonderman did in his first arbitration-eligible season back in 2006. Nate Robertson earned more as a first-time eligible player, signing for $3.26 million in 2007.
The Tigers have not gone to an arbitration hearing with a player since Dave Dombrowski took over as general manager in 2002. Galarraga’s agreement, on the heels of a two-year contract with Ryan Raburn and a one-year deal with Joel Zumaya earlier in the month, means that streak will continue for another year.
The Tigers agreed to terms on Friday on a one-year, $1.4 million contract with reliever Joel Zumaya, inking another of their arbitration eligibles as they try to wrap up their offseason to-do list.
The deal has been expected for a while. Zumaya said earlier this offseason he wasn’t going to be greedy as he looked for a contract. With free agency coming for him next winter, he knows his big pay should come shortly if he can come through with a healthy 2011 season.
That, of course, has been the problem. His elbow fracture on the mound in a game last June ended his 2010 season at 31 appearances, yet it was his highest total since his rookie season of 2006. Zumaya went 2-1 with a 2.58 ERA and one save, striking out 34 batters over 38 1/3 innings. He made $915,000 last year, but just missed a $20,000 bonus had he pitched in 35 games.
When healthy, Zumaya has the chance to be a valuable piece in the bullpen, even with the depth the Tigers have built up in their relief corps this winter. His ability to get swings and misses in big situations with a fastball around 100 mph is extremely difficult to replace, and his willingness to work on his secondary pitches bodes well for improvement. He also has the potential to work two innings, which could make him a must-have bridge between Tigers starters and their late-inning tandem of setup man Joaquin Benoit and closer Jose Valverde.
Zumaya’s deal leaves Armando Galarraga as the lone arbitration-eligible Tiger who has yet to sign. Given his resume, plus the Tigers’ recent agreement with Brad Penny, his situation might take a while to resolve.
The Tigers have not gone to an arbitration hearing with a player since Dave Dombrowski took over general manager duties in 2002.
The only nontender from the Tigers today is reliever Zach Miner, whose fate was set in that regard when he was designated for assignment on Monday. Detroit will indeed tender contracts to Joel Zumaya and Armando Galarraga.
Armando Galarraga didn’t win the Luis Aparicio award this year for outstanding Venezuelan player in the Major Leagues — that went to Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez — but Venezuelan baseball writers are still going to recognize the Tigers right-hander. He’ll receive an honorable mention for his would-be perfect game and the way he handled himself in the aftermath. Thanks to Gerardo Boscan and Augusto Cardenas for passing along the info.
For those of you who figured something was up when Phil Coke was named to start today’s season finale, you were right. After Jim Leyland said earlier this month that he was still unsure whether Coke was better suited as a starter or a reliever, Leyland said Sunday morning, “My intention is to have Phil Coke in the rotation.”
Considering Armando Galarraga should have a perfect game on his record, he probably has every right to be frustrated about how things have turned out. But it isn’t the would-be perfect game that flusters him. It’s all the starts after that.
Nearly three weeks after Brett Gardner slid into Carlos Guillen’s left knee, Guillen said the soreness is just as bad as it was before, as is the pinching pain he gets when he moves around sometimes.
“Maybe worse,” he said.
It’s a bad sign, obviously, and it puts his potential return this season in question.
Though Guillen said he’s walking better than he had been, he said the knee still restricts him from doing much more than that. That basically puts him in a holding pattern right now, limiting him to basic rehab activities.
Guillen will visit with team physician Dr. Stephen Lemos in the coming days. That exam might include another MRI.
“That’ll probably be something we’ll look at as we go forward,” head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said Monday morning.
They’re not looking at his return anytime soon. And with four weeks left in the season, there’s a growing possibility that he’s done for the year. Leyland said he didn’t know whether Guillen would be back this season, and Guillen didn’t sound confident in his situation either.
“At this point right now, obviously we’ve got to get his knee to the point where he has no soreness,” Leyland said. “Once we get to that point, then we can increase his activity. But at the pace it’s going right now, we might run out of time.”
Other injury updates:
- Armando Galarraga said his elbow issues were different than normal pitching soreness, he said he was feeling better today. He doesn’t believe he’ll miss any starts because of it once he gets some treatment on it. Still, manager Jim Leyland indicated the Tigers could make one more September call-up because of it, certainly if it lingers. Coincidentally, Andy Oliver threw a side session at Triple-A Toledo Sunday after making his last start of the season for the Mud Hens Friday.
- Gerald Laird is still out with back issues. He’s going to get treatment Monday and Tuesday for the goal of playing Wednesday against White Sox lefty John Danks.
- Ryan Raburn is better today after what appears to be a case of food poisoning Sunday. He fell ill just before game time and stayed that way until the problem lifted overnight.
- Ryan Strieby underwent a CT scan Sunday and has an appointment coming up with hand specialist Dr. Thomas Graham. There’s a real possibility he could recommend another surgery on Strieby’s ailing left wrist, which has sidelined him since the end of July. If that happens, obviously, he’ll miss the Arizona Fall League for a second straight year.
Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga and catcher Alex Avila had to be separated by teammates during a dugout dispute in the second inning of Galarraga’s start Sunday against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.
Galarraga had finished off the White Sox in the bottom of the first inning when he jogged into the dugout and went directly to Avila, his catcher, to have words. The dispute quickly escalated to the point that several teammates, including Johnny Damon, intervened. Fellow catcher Gerald Laird got involved, initially to break up the incident, then appeared to start arguing with Galarraga as well before shortstop Ramon Santiago pulled Galarraga away and sat him down.
It was an bizarre altercation to have for a pitching-catching battery that had just finished off a scoreless opening inning. Galarraga retired Chicago’s first two batters and had a two-strike count on Paul Konerko before giving up a single to left. Galarraga threw four straight two-seam fastballs to Konerko, according to MLB.com’s Gameday application.
In the larger context of Galarraga’s season, though, the dispute might be a sign of the larger issue the Tigers have had with him: Finding his confidence. Manager Jim Leyland has said often over the last couple weeks that Galarraga has to trust his ability more and pitch more aggressively to hitters rather than nibbling on the corners.
Galarraga worked with Laird in his last start and seemingly battled his command as well as confidence. He missed his spots badly on some pitches, usually more away from the strike zone.
Galaraga has plenty of reason for his own frustration. He’s winless in his last seven starts and entered the day with a 1-4 record and 5.10 ERA in 11 starts since his would-be perfect game June 2.