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Tigers Ink Three of Four Arbitration Eligible Players

The Tigers made some progress in solidifying their team today by agreeing to terms with three of the four players that filed for arbitration. Jeremy Bonderman will make $2.3 million next year in a one year deal. I was on the fence as to whether Bonderman should get a longer term deal or not, and it looks like Dave Dombrowski is being prudent and waiting one more year to see if Bonderman is worth the huge payout or not.

Chris Spurling will make $725,000. He’ll never overpower anyone (26 strikeouts in 70 2/3 innings) but he was pretty effective against both righties and lefties. The most interesting thing about Spurling is his home/road split. He seems to really take advantage of Comerica park to the tune of a 1.03 WHIP, .197 batting average against and a 1.66 ERA. On the road, those numbers balloon to a 1.26 WHIP, .264 batting average against and a 5.51 ERA.

Carlos Pena earned himself a paycheck by having a strong August and September after being sent down to AAA. He’ll make $2.8 million, but in a lot of ways, he’s the odd man out. Dmitri Young, for better or worse, will probably get the nod as the DH leaving Pena and Shelton to split time. Shelton earned the job with a strong season (not just a month and a half) so this will probably be one of the more interesting position battles this spring.

Craig Monroe is the guy who hasn’t signed yet. He put up solid numbers, but he’s pretty replaceable so I think the Tigers are going to be stuck paying him more then they’d like whether he ends up in arbitration or not.



Why is this a battle at all? Shelton has hit at every level, and Pena sucks. Now is it whoever has the hottest March will get the job? Let’s hope the team can understand the concept of sample size.

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Posted by Dan on January 18th, 2006 at 6:05 pm

Dan, I don’t want to put words in Brian’s mouth, but I think a lot of what will happen in ST will depend on Dmitri… Will he be in good enough shape to play some corner OF? Maybe give Inge a day off every once in a while at 3B? And (a la David Letterman), the number one reason for keeping Carlos Pena around… “Insurance policy” to the inevitable Dmitri Young pulled hammy.

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Posted by jeff k on January 19th, 2006 at 3:17 pm

Hey, I saw Magglio Ordonez at the airport last night. He looks good, though he’s smaller than I thought.

He was talking to some guy in a suit that had some sort of business relationship with him. He’s excited to meet Leyland – the suit told him that Leyland will make sure the clubhouse knows who is boss. Ordonez is apparently happy about that.

He said that his knee is feeling good and he’s ready for the season. That’s about all I got by eavesdropping. If I was a real reporter, I would’ve asked him some questions of my own, but I’m not, so this is the best you get.

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Posted by Joel on January 20th, 2006 at 10:45 am

I see what you’re saying Jeff, but did I misunderstand this?

“Dmitri Young, for better or worse, will probably get the nod as the DH leaving Pena and Shelton to split time.”

Leaving Pena and Shelton to split time. You and I both know that it’s highly unlikely that Young will be able to hold down left field, staying healthy all the while. He will either have to DH (leaving Pena and Shelton, evidently, to split time), or he’ll be out. Will Shelton DH? My point is that there is only one position Pena is less suited to play than first base, and that is DH. The man sucks. Any and all competition between Pena and Shelton should be in the past, is my point.

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Posted by Dan on January 20th, 2006 at 12:10 pm

Keep in mind, the situation I throw out there isn’t neccesarily what I want, it’s what I think will happen. There’s no doubt Shelton earned the right to be a full time starter at first base, but I also don’t think Leyland is going to sit a veteran like Young. Heck, the guy seems to think Nook Logan is going to be the savior of the organization at the expense of one our best prospects in years, Curtis Granderson.

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Posted by Brian on January 20th, 2006 at 12:51 pm

I didn’t say that’s what you wrote. I was simply asking the question out loud. Given what you wrote, “is this [march] what it’s going to come down to?”. I think you’re expecting a disagreement before there is one. I suppose that’s my fault.

I’m sort of sticking to the same theme with most of these comments. Incompetence. I know that too many fans think they could personally run the team better than the professionals, and I know that I must sound like just another fan. Still, I think we can really call into question the abilities and objectivity of people who make it sound like Nook Logan is going to start over Curtis Granderson or that they still have high hopes for Carlos Pena, who will soon be a 28 year old player who hasn’t done jack in over 1,600 major league at bats. When a player like that is battling for a job against a guy like Shelton, who has shown a near-constant tendency to hit the moment he sees every new level, that tells me we’re dealing with management that hasn’t done its due diligence and knows not nearly enough about what the performance arc of a good hitter looks like.

They have hopes and dreams about some fantasy world where lightning fast players who can’t hit at all can be taught to be Ty Cobb, players with sweet swings can be taught to be Ted Williams, and closers in their late 30′s whose names everyone recognizes will automatically repeat the career year they just had or even had 4 years ago. If they have done any reading or earnest study on the subject, they would know that it doesn’t work that way and never has. And it’s their job to know these things. It’s millions of dollars at stake. Let’s face it – they do a shitty job, and it does nothing but disappoint the likes of you and me and every other fan who has no choice but to follow this inept franchise.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a reflexive complainer. They have made a few good moves. But it’s not their job to make some good moves amidst bone-rattlingly dumb ones. It’s their job to make moves that make sense and have a point. They don’t do it, and now we have a new manager who won’t shut up about Nook F’ing Logan. Who sucks. Do you disagree?

I’m sort of sticking to the same theme with most of these comments. Incompetence. I know that too many fans think they could personally run the team better than the professionals, and I know that I must sound like just another fan. Still, I think we can really call into question the abilities and objectivity of people who make it sound like Nook Logan is going to start over Curtis Granderson or that they still have high hopes for Carlos Pena, who will soon be a 28 year old player who hasn’t done jack in over 1,600 major league at bats. When a player like that is battling for a job against a guy like Shelton, who has shown a near-constant tendency to hit the moment he sees every new level, that tells me we’re dealing with management that hasn’t done its due dilligence and knows not nearly enough about what the performance arc of a good hitter looks like.

They have hopes and dreams about some fantasy world where lightning fast players who can’t hit at all can be taught to be Ty Cobb, players with sweet swings can be taught to be Ted Williams, and closer in their late 30′s whose names you recognize will automatically repeat the career year they just had or even had 4 years ago. If they have done any reading or earnest study on the subject, they would know that it doesn’t work that way and never has. And it’s their job to know these things. It’s millions of dollars at stake. Let’s face it – they do a shitty job, and it does nothing but disappoint the likes of you and me and every other fan who has no choice but to follow this inept franchise.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a reflexive complainer. They have made a few good moves. But it’s not their job to make some good moves amidst bone-rattlingly dumb ones. It’s their job to make moves that make sense and have a point. They don’t do it, and now we have a new manager who won’t shut up about Nook F’ing Logan. Who sucks. Do you disagree?

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Posted by Dan on January 20th, 2006 at 2:06 pm


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