The Tigers signed four of their five arbitration eligible players before the figure exchanging deadline yesterday. All four got one year deals and will be payed as follows:
Gerald Laird – $2.8 million
Edwin Jackson – $1.825 million
Bobby Seay – $1.3 million
Joel Zumaya – $735,000
That’s not too bad and I’d say we’re making out in all four of these cases. I was particularly impressed with how much Edwin Jackson settled for. I figured he’d go for more and despite some of his negatives, it’s hard not to feel that we’ll be getting our money’s worth even if he has just a mediocre season.
That leaves Justin Verlander. The Tigers and Verlander exchanged figures and they’re just under a million apart. The Tigers came in at $3.2 million while Verlander asked for $4.15. The goal is to still sign the guy before they go to the table and that will probably involved a multi-year deal.
The Tigers signed Juan Rincon to a minor league deal. He’s had two pretty bad years in 2007 and 2008 after being one of the best setup men in baseball for the Twins. Rick Knapp seems to think he’s set to turn things around
so if this one works, we could also have a bargain on our hands.
The Tigers are also still talking to Brandon Lyon so we’ll see what happens there. He wouldn’t lead my list of closer candidates, but if it pushes Rodney (and eventually Zumaya) into a more situational role, it’s probably not all bad. I just hope they don’t overpay.