The Tigers made a three year commitment to Nate Robertson today and in the process, they’ll avoid arbitration with the left hander. Robertson will make just over $21 million throughout the three year deal.
The Tigers now have four of their front five starters locked up for the forseeable future. Robertson, Dontrelle Willis and Jeremy Bonderman are all locked up through 2010 and Justin Verlander won’t even be eligible for arbitration until after the 2008 season. That leaves just Kenny Rogers who has a one year deal, who isn’t part of the Tigers long term plans, although that’s more because of Rogers’ advanced age and not because the team doesn’t like him.
At some point, you’d have to hope Rick Porcello fills in that final spot but I don’t see him even getting a cup of coffee until 2009. That means the Tigers have to hope either a guy like Yorman Bazardo or Jordan Tata steps up to fill in or the Tigers go out on the market to find someone. Still, the Tigers have at least a solid front four for quite some time and it’ll give the team some time to restock their farm system.