Today is the deadline for teams to tender contracts to players with less than six years of of service. Players that are arbitration eligible, who aren’t tendered contracts are then able to sign with other teams. To be arbitration eligble a player needs between 3 and six years of big league service time, or be in the top sixth of players with 2+ years of service (super 2′s). For the Tigers, those players are Alex Sanchez, Brandon Inge, and Carlos Pena.
John Lowe reports today that the Tigers are expected to tender a contract to Alex Sanchez. However, the chances of Sanchez playing for the Tigers remain small. By offering a contract, it allows the Tigers more time to try and trade Sanchez. It also provides an insurance policy in caae the Tigers can’t find another centerfielder via free agency or trade, and it keeps them from having to rush Curtis Granderson. Fortunately, the contract doesn’t become guaranteed until the start of the season. So the Tigers can cut him during spring training, and only owe him a portion of his salary (30 days of salary if prior to 16 days before start of season, and 45 days of salary if less than 16 days prior to season).
It is expected that Brandon Inge, who right now is slated to be the starting third baseman, and Carlos Pena will be tendered contracts.
Given the Tigers struggles in acquiring free agents, I’m sure they’ll be scanning this new crop of available players to try and find some bargains.
Yesterday was the deadline for free agents who had been offered arbitration by their former team to accept arbitration. Derek Lowe was offered arbitration by the Red Sox, and he declined it. Thus ending his career in Boston. This also takes another potential team out of the Derek Lowe sweepstakes which is bad news for the Tigers.
The last thing I’ll write about Beltre
On Friday I lamented the fact that it seemed like the Tigers didn’t pursue Beltre hard enough (if at all). Well it’s a good thing I stuck that paragraph in at the end conceding the fact that I didn’t have access to all the information. Two reports this weekend state that Beltre wasn’t going to leave the west coast.
Gammons reported that the World Series champion Red Sox couldn’t get him either, at least not at less than $14 million per year
Just think what the Tigers would have had to offer. John Lowe has sources that say the Tigers would have been willing to go even higher:
So at least it makes me feel better that the Tigers were in, and in competitively. It doesn’t sound like we had a shot at Beltre, at least not a price that would have still made the signing a positive. It’s one thing to overpay a guy an extra million or two on a two year deal, it’s a whole different thing to be on the hook for an extra $15 million over 5 years. And it seems that even winning teams in warm climates don’t always get their guy either. In Gammons same piece he notes that Koskie took less money to sign with Toronto than what he was offered in LA: