ESPN is reporting that the Tigers have signed outfielder Rondell White to a 2 year $6 million dollar deal. No word yet on Tejada. The News says the Tigers made a 5 year $50 million dollar offer, but that the sides are very far apart. I’ve got some kids to take care of now, and I’ll process this deal a little more later today hopefully.
Contingent on a physical, the Tigers have signed Fernando Vina to a two year contract for $3 million a year. While many have complained about this deal, I don’t mind it…yet. I don’t think you can really evaluate this signing until you see the other moves that the team makes this winter. If the Tigers compliment this signing with 2-3 other signings at key positions like shortstop, catcher and pitcher, then this could be worthwhile. If Vina is it, then it is a horrible move.
What this does signal is that the Tigers are willing to bring people here even if it means overspending. I know they’ve said they’d do it all along, but now they are actually doing it. It also means that free agents are willing to not only consider Detroit, but actually sign here. For that Dombrowski should be applauded.
While the Tigers did overpay, and while Vina might not be a significant offensive upgrade over Warren Morris, it is only a two year contract. I would consider signing to be a step forward (albeit a pretty darn small one). Let’s just hope there is more on the way.
The Free Press is reporting that the Tigers have made an offer to Fernando Vina. Vina is coming off an injury shortened 61 game season. However, he is a career .284 hitter with a .350 OBA. He’s 34 and made $5.3 million last year and it is believed to be a two year offer that the Tigers have made. ESPN is reporting that Vina is leaning towards signing with the Cubs. ESPN also is reporting that the Tigers are interested in Rich Aurilia should he not be offered arbitration by the Giants. The Red Sox may also be pursuing him.
With the Tigers pursuing Aurilia and Vina, it reveals a little bit about what their strategy is (or at least what I think it may be). The Tigers aren’t looking for players who will help them win a World Series. They are targeting veteran players who will help the team improve in the short term, to bridge the gap so to speak. What’s more important is that they are going after players that they feel will be tradeable. Dombrowski was yearning to trade veterans for prospects last summer, but he didn’t have the veterans to trade. His veterans weren’t good enough and made too much money for too long. If the Tigers can sign Aurilia or Vina to a short term contract, even if they have to overpay a little, they could finally have something to offer playoff contenders. Now this strategy isn’t without risk. If the Tigers do get these types of players, and then can’t trade them who do they turn to in two years to take the reins? The Tigers don’t really have any 2B or SS prospects throughout the minors. Of course this is all a bit premature because the Tigers haven’t actually signed these guys yet, and that in itself would be a major coup for Dombrowski.
In other news, Kevin Witt signed a minor league deal with St. Louis and Adam Pettyjohn inked a minor league deal with San Francisco.