Results tagged ‘ Placido Polanco ’

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,’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.

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.

Rodney, Lyon offered arbitration, Rodney not

The Tigers decided to offer arbitration to Type B free agent relievers Fernando Rodney and Brandon Lyon, but not to Type A free agent Placido Polanco.

The announcement ahead of Tuesday night’s midnight ET deadline sets the stage for the Tigers to receive compensation picks in next year’s First-Year Player Draft if Rodney and/or Lyon sign elsewhere, but nothing in exchange for Polanco.

Though the Tigers had to be tempted by the potential for two compensation picks, there was a logical chance Polanco would have considered arbitration if offered. While a multi-year deal is obviously a huge appeal for the 34-year-old second baseman, arbitration would’ve almost surely hurt his value on the market. Any other team would’ve had to give up a first- or second-round Draft pick to sign him, and that would’ve slowed the market on him. The other pick would’ve been sandwiched between the first and second rounds.

Moreover, the one-year salary Polanco could’ve earned in arbitration could have been very tempting. Polanco earned $4.6 million in each of his four full seasons in Detroit as part of an extension he signed in 2005, but contracts signed last offseason for such All-Star second basemen as Boston’s Dustin Pedroia and Baltimore’s Brian Roberts have come at much larger salaries.

The Tigers are prepared to promote Scott Sizemore, their Minor League Player of the Year, to second base. Sizemore underwent surgery in October after breaking his ankle while playing in the Arizona Fall League, but he’s projected to be ready for the start of Spring Training. The Tigers are still free to negotiate with Polanco’s representatives and try to re-sign him.

The risk is far less on Lyon and Rodney, since any other team that signs them won’t have to give up a draft pick. The compensation picks on them would come at the end of the second round.

Both Rodney and Lyon are looking for multi-year deals and attracting interest along those lines, even in a relief market that can be unpredictable.

Rodney and Lyon have six days to accept or reject arbitration. Given their situations, they’ll likely to reject the offers. That won’t necessarily close off the Tigers’ interest, but it sets the challenge of multi-year offers, something that could require the Tigers to do some of their much-rumored maneuvering to free up payroll.

Lyon’s agent, Barry Meister, indicated he has stayed in touch with the Tigers, though talks won’t likely progress until teams and agents gather in Indianapolis next week for baseball’s Winter Meetings.

“We’ve each expressed mutual interest,” Meister said. “Well have a chance to sit down with them and talk about him at the Winter Meetings.”

Detroit’s last compensation pick was a first-round sandwich selection for reliever Jamie Walker, who signed quickly with the Orioles following the 2006 season before the Tigers had to decide on arbitration.

Detroit’s other three free agents this offseason — Adam Everett, Aubrey Huff and Jarrod Washburn — were not offered arbitration. They didn’t qualify as Type A or B free agents, so they wouldn’t have brought any compensation picks in return

My guesses on arbitration

Everyone else seems to be playing the guessing game on which free agents the Tigers will offer arbitration, so I figure I might as well chip in with my two cents before the news comes out later today. As much of a financial hit as it could be for the Tigers if Placido Polanco accepted arbitration, I’m just not sure that it’s enough to justify passing up on a sandwich pick in next year’s draft and possibly a first-rounder if Polanco signs elsewhere. Polanco is at the point where multi-year security looks better than a one-year deal, and I’m not sure his chances at that become much clearer in six days. If there’s a concerted drive for the Tigers to bring in more young talent, this might be the simplest way they can do it this winter, so long as they believe Polanco wouldn’t accept the offer. But then, that’s the big question, isn’t it? In the end, it might still be too much of a risk.

Brandon Lyon and Fernando Rodney carry much less risk, since any team that signs them wouldn’t have to give up a pick. It’s just a supplemental pick or two after the second round in this case. And if you believe that multi-year contracts are big for both of them, there’s good reason to believe they wouldn’t want it. Everything Lyon’s agent, Barry Meister, has said indicates his client will get a multi-year contract. Rodney should, too, but in his case, he’s hitting free agency off one big year. If he were to accept arbitration off a 37-save season, the payout could be huge. I like Lyon’s chances of being offered arbitration more than that of Rodney, but I’m not sure the Tigers still wouldn’t offer it to Rodney.

In the end, the Tigers might offer Lyon and Rodney, but pass on Polanco. Again, just my opinion. We’ll see what happens.

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.

Polanco wins second Gold Glove in three years

Detroit+Tigers+v+Los+Angeles+Angels+Anaheim+pJX3WVneAEYl.jpgPlacido Polanco is the Tigers’ lone Gold Glove award winner this year, picking up his second such award in three years and adding another honor to his resume as he hits the free-agent market.

Polanco beat out defending Gold Glove winner Dustin Pedroia for the honor at second base, as voted on by Major League managers and coaches. He becomes the third Tigers infielder to win multiple Gold Gloves, joining the double-play duo of Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker. The Gold Glove awards date back to 1957.

Though he couldn’t duplicate his errorless 2007 season, his error total fell from eight last year to two this past season. Working alongside shortstops Adam Everett and Ramon Santiago, plus with Brandon Inge back at third, Polanco helped turn a career-high 112 double plays. His .997 fielding percentage easily led all AL second basemen, while his 731 total chances and his Range Factor of 5.1 putouts plus assists per nine innings ranked near the top.

The more specialized fielding stats were more favorable on Polanco than one might expect for a middle infielder who turned 34 years old last month. While Polanco ranked lower among AL second basemen on zone rating, a statistic created by STATS Inc. to measure the rate of outs converted in a player’s defensive zone, his ultimate zone rating of 11.4 led all Major League second basemen.

Other Tigers fell short in their Gold Glove bids.  Gerald Laird’s league-leading 42-percent rate of throwing out baserunners couldn’t earn him the nod at catcher over Minnesota’s Joe Mauer. Brandon Inge’s abundance of highlight plays couldn’t overshadow his error totals at third, where Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria captured his first Gold Glove. Curtis Granderson couldn’t crack the AL Gold Glove outfield mix of longtime standards Torii Hunter and Ichiro Suzuki plus newcomer Adam Jones.

(Photo courtesy Getty Images)

Five Tigers file for free agency

As the veteran Tigers scribe Jim Hawkins likes to say, no sense waiting (yes, I recycled that line from my Twitter account, @beckjason). Five Tigers — Adam Everett, Aubrey Huff, Placido Polanco, Fernando Rodney and Jarrod Washburn — filed for free agency Thursday, the first day players could do so. The only Tiger eligible for free agency who didn’t file Thursday was Brandon Lyon, and that’s more of a formality. His agent and the Tigers haven’t talked yet. Look for a free-agent roundup on the site tonight.

The Tigers have exclusive negotiating rights with their free agents through Thursday, Nov. 20. While those players can talk with other teams, they technically can’t talk contract terms or exchange offers, though agents seem to get around the contract terms part. Starting Nov. 21, it’s a free-for-all.

Also, the Elias rankings that determine compensation for free agents came out today. Polanco qualified for Type A status, meaning the Tigers would receive at least a sandwich pick between the first and second rounds of next year’s draft, and possibly a first-round pick as well, if they offer him arbitration and he signs somewhere else. That leaves the Tigers with a decision to make whether they offer him arbitration, and I’m not sure the Tigers won’t take a chance and offer it. After all, if he accepts it, the Tigers have him for one year.

Fernando Rodney and Brandon Lyon both qualified for Type B status. If the Tigers offered them arbitration, they’d get a draft pick after the second round if they signed elsewhere.

Thursday: Tigers vs. Twins

Placido Polanco gets a day off, while Jim Leyland plays the hot hand a bit with Ramon Santiago at second base today alongside Adam Everett. In that sense, Leyland is playing this like a regular day game after a night game, even though it has a chance to be a lot more than that.

Aubrey Huff again isn’t playing against a right-hander.


  1. Curtis Granderson, CF
  2. Ramon Santiago, 2B
  3. Magglio Ordonez, RF
  4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  5. Carlos Guillen, LF
  6. Marcus Thames, DH
  7. Brandon Inge, 3B
  8. Gerald Laird, C
  9. Adam Everett, SS

P: Nate Robertson


  1. Denard Span, CF
  2. Orlando Cabrera, SS
  3. Joe Mauer, DH
  4. Michael Cuddyer, 1B
  5. Jason Kubel, RF
  6. Delmon Young, LF
  7. Brendan Harris, 3B
  8. Mike Redmond, C
  9. Nick Punto, 2B

P: Scott Baker

Granderson sits, Polanco leads off

Wilkin Ramirez isn’t walking through the clubhouse doors today, so if the Tigers were going to give Curtis Granderson a day off today as planned, they were going to have to use somebody here. That somebody ended up being Placido Polanco, who’s batting leadoff for the first time since the season finale in 2007. Leyland confirmed he also plans on giving Granderson a second day off Friday at Oakland.


  1. Placido Polanco, 2B
  2. Marcus Thames, DH
  3. Ryan Raburn, LF
  4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  5. Magglio Ordonez, RF
  6. Brandon Inge, 3B
  7. Clete Thomas, CF
  8. Gerald Laird, C
  9. Adam Everett, SS

P: Jarrod Washburn


  1. Ichiro Suzuki, RF
  2. Franklin Gutierrez, CF
  3. Jose Lopez, 2B
  4. Mike Sweeney, DH
  5. Russell Branyan, 1B
  6. Kenji Johjima, C
  7. Jack Hannahan, 3B
  8. Jack Wilson, SS
  9. Michael Saunders, LF

P: Ryan Rowland-Smith

Inge sits, looks to make changes

After much debating, Jim Leyland decided to give Brandon Inge the night off and pair it with Thursday’s scheduled off-day to give him two days of rest ahead of Friday’s series opener at Cleveland. He’s hoping it can make a difference in the pain that’s hounding Inge in the patella tendon around Inge’s left knee, though Inge isn’t so optimistic.

Inge talked Wednesday about using the night off to get away from the mental grind, then working a little with his swing to try to find a way to cut down on his pain without falling so much into bad habits. It might involve taking a two-strike approach throughout an at-bat and cutting down on the power, or keeping weight off of his front side in his stance.

“Mentally, I need to figure out how to go about this,” Inge said. “Everything’s kind of off right now because of the knee, so I’m going to have to make an adjustment.”

Ramon Santiago isn’t starting after taking that fol tip off his right shin, but he’s available if need be. Leyland might’ve started Santiago at second base and rested Placido Polanco otherwise, but he’ll instead look to rest Polanco at some point this weekend.


  1. Curtis Granderson, CF
  2. Placido Polanco, 2B
  3. Carlos Guillen, DH
  4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  5. Magglio Ordonez, RF
  6. Marcus Thames, LF
  7. Ryan Raburn, 3B
  8. Gerald Laird, C
  9. Adam Everett, SS

P: Justin Verlander


  1. Omar Vizquel, 2B
  2. Michael Young, 3B
  3. David Murphy, LF
  4. Marlon Byrd, CF
  5. Hank Blalock, 1B
  6. Andruw Jones, DH
  7. Josh Hamilton, RF
  8. Taylor Teagarden, C
  9. Elvis Andrus, SS

P: Scott Feldman