The Tigers did some winter house cleaning yesterday and signed four of their arbitration eligible players. Craig Monroe walked away with the biggest paycheck and he’ll make $4,775,000 next year after he hit 28 homeruns in the regular season and five more in the post season. If Monroe can repeat what he did in 2006, or even better, surpass his numbers then he’ll be a bargain.
Probably the biggest bargain was Nate Robertson. Anytime you can get a fourth starter of his caliber, and a left hander no less, for $3.26 million, it’s good for the franchise. In Robertson’s three full seasons, his numbers have gotten better each season and the only thing that prevented him from 15 wins last year was some run support. He was second on the team in innings pitcher (208 2/3) and strikeouts (137).
Setup man Fernando Rodney will make a touch over $1 million next year and Infante will make $1.3 million. The team still hasn’t said much about their plans for Infante and the last I heard, he’d be backing up Curtis Granderson in centerfield as well as providing a third backup in the infield along with Ramon Santiago and Neifi Perez.
All pretty good news here because the Tigers are getting some pretty good bargains. Out of this group of four, I think Nate Robertson would be the guy I’d want to lock up longer term but it looks like they’ll wait until he gets one or two more years under his belt before doing so.
Also, my interview with Ernie Harwell, at least part one, is up at the Hardball Times. I hope you check it out. Part two will be tomorrow.