The Tigers were busy locking up a bunch of players prior to actual arbitration throughout the past week. Gerald Laird signed for $3.95 million, Zach Miner is in for $950,000 and Bobby Seay signed for $2.475 million. That leaves the pink elephant in the room in Justin Verlander. The Tigers and Verlander look to be $2.6 million apart which is interesting. My guess is if this does go to the table, that Verlander wins.
The Tigers also finished up their deal with Jose Valverde. It looks like my negative opinion is the concensus. I still don’t know why they signed Valverde for around the price they could have signed Polanco but I guess we’ll see. I’ve been proven wrong (thankfully) before.
The Tigers are about a month away from spring training and there’s already some interesting news on the bottom half of the roster. Phil Coke is being talked about as the team’s fifth starter. Not a bad idea but then you wonder what happens to those big contracts (i.e. Nate Robertson). Jeremy Bonderman is already being tagged as the fourth starter and if he can succeed there, it’ll go a long way towards the Tigers having a successful season.
Finally, Dombrowski has talked about using Raburn as a floating outfielder and getting him time everyday. Not a bad idea with Magglio Ordonez’s and Carlos Guillen’s advanced age. Still, I wonder if Raburn will be able to repeat his breakout season from 2009.