I think it is safe to call the Edgar Renteria-Jair Jurrjens/Gorkys Hernandez deal “the trade that just keeps taking.” There was hope that the Tigers could salvage a couple draft picks out of the trade, but that possibility is now gone as the team has declined to offer Renteria arbitration.
All players are classified according to Elias as Type A or Type B or other. For pending free agents, teams can offer a player arbitration. If the player declines arbitration and signs elsewhere the team receives compensatory picks if they were Type A (a first or second rounder and a pick between the two rounds) or Type B (a pick between the first and second rounds). Edgar Renteria was a Type A meaning the Tigers would have been in line for 2 picks and giving them likely 3 picks in the top 50-60.
I’m quite disappointed that the team decided to walk away and not try and get the draft picks. The downside is that Renteria accepts arbitration. The likely scenario would then be that he would sign for about $9 million on a one year deal. Which despite last season wouldn’t have been the end of the world. Especially considering the Tigers are being linked to Julio Lugo’s and Alex Cora’s and other shortstops who are deficient in at least one area.
Yes, a $9 million exposure is probably more than the team wanted. But that risk could have been mitigated by cutting Renteria in the spring and paying him what amounts to a sixth of his salary and walking away. Plus, Renteria has been garnering interest from other teams and would probably choose a 2 year deal over the one year he could get in arbitration (although the new team may find him less attractive if they had to surrender a draft pick).
This seemed to be a low risk move with the worst case scenario being that Renteria was inked to a one year deal. The best case was the Tigers salvage something out of the trade and add some high ceiling talent to the organization. I understand that it may be bad etiquette and it may be viewed unfavorably by other players, to offer a contract with the intent of cutting while driving down the value on the open market. I honestly don’t know how much weight that should carry. But the Tigers need some wins this offseason. This doesn’t appear to be one.