The Tender deadline, Derek Lowe, and Just a Little more Beltre

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.

Derek Lowe
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

The reason the Mariners had to go to $13 million for five years with Adrian Beltre is that that’s where the Red Sox went with Scott Boras. Boston planned to plug the 25-year-old star in at third and go for a cheaper shortstop until Hanley Ramirez is ready, but Beltre preferred the West Coast and wanted $14 million a year over five seasons to go to Boston.

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:

It is not known how high the Tigers were willing to go for Beltre. One person with knowledge of the Tigers’ thinking said the club would have ultimately offered upwards of $90 million, presumably for six or seven years.

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:

The Dodgers had a pretty good idea they would lose Beltre, as they bid $20 million for Corey Koskie, but the third baseman took $17 million from the Blue Jays.


  1. Mark

    December 21, 2004 at 4:35 pm

    It is fine we did not get Beltre. Disappointing, but he is expensive. What about going after Ryan Freel at Cincinnati or Eric Hinske? Both are booted from 3b due to the siging of Randa and Koskie, respectively. They are good young players. Eckstein, just released from Angels, could platoon with Inge at 3b.

    A trade for Sean Burroughs would be a nice fit, but probably unlikely.

    Also, how about Wade Miller released from Houston? He is work horse.

  2. Ken

    December 29, 2004 at 3:56 pm

    As someone who has had Beltre on my fantasy teams for years, I’m very happy the Tigers didn’t sign him. I have no faith in him at all. I honestly believe signing him would have been a disaster equal to trading for Juan Gon.

    Pavano would have been a nice addition, although I’m satisfied with the starters. I certainly don’t want Derek Lowe.

    The bullpen was the Tigers’ biggest hole, and signing Percival should help, so I don’t feel the offseason has been a total bust. The guy I really, really hoped the Tigers would get was J.D. Drew, even with the health issues.