The week that was

Things have been very quiet here at DTW lately. While it wasn’t my intention for things to go dark here, when it’s a one person gig sometimes life gets in the way. Fortunately life will be out of the way this coming week so my winter meetings coverage should be pretty robust and very timely. In the mean time I’ll use this post as a way of catching up on everything that got neglected.

Polanco signs with the Phillies

The biggest new I failed to cover was the end of Placido Polanco’s career as a Tiger. This was a likely outcome after the Tigers declined to offer arbitration. With no draft pick attached the Phillies moved quickly and handed Polanco a 3 year, $18 million deal to play third base.

The deal was aggressive and it may have been an indication that the Phillies would have signed Polanco regardless of his arbitration situation. We’ll never know of course one way or the other. My guess though is that if the Phillies didn’t care about the pick, they probably could have signed him prior to the Tigers decision when there wouldn’t have been as much competition for his services. Beck has more on the negotiation and Tigers decision.

As for the deal itself, using WAR and Polanco’s past stats would indicate the Phillies got a steal just on the surface. Polanco has been at least a 3 WAR player the last 3 years which means he’s been worth about $12-14 million a season. But part of that value comes in the fact that Polanco played a premium position. He’ll lose some value moving to 3rd base. He’ll also age. He’s also playing a position he hasn’t played regularly since he was a Phillie last time around. I think Polanco will look like a bargain this year, but look pretty expensive at the end of the contract.

Brian Peterson & Cale Iorg interviews

Mark Anderson at TigsTown has been busy. Over the last week he’s conducted interviews with Cale Iorg and Brian Peterson. Everybody knows Iorg as the Tigers shortstop prospect where there has been a huge disagreement between tools and results. Iorg does seem to be a pretty sharp guy though who has dealt with the adversity well and isn’t afraid of hard work. When Anderson asked about his offseason Iorg’s response was:

I want to work out a lot, to try to get stronger and stuff. I just want to do a lot of hitting stuff. I can obviously work with my Dad. My Dad knows my swing better than anybody out there, so work with him and just really try to get my work in – get good work in. It’s not all about how many times I go, or how many swings I get when I get there; it’s just being consistent with what I do when I’m there. My whole off-season is to prepare for spring training. Whether I go to big league camp again, I don’t know yet, but if I do, then I want to be prepared to play like people have said I can play.

Now not as many people may know about Peterson. He is the organization’s Performance Enhancement Instructor and in his role he helps players with the mental side of the game. He’s been with the organization for seven years and he held a similar role with Dave Dombrowski’s Marlins teams as well. It appears that Dombrowski was an early mover in seeing the value in a role like this:

I think Dave has been very progressive. Theforiginal guy that started doing this type of work was Harvey Dorfman who the A’s used in the early 80’s. Dave Dombrowski hired Harvey with the Marlins in 1992 when we first started the Marlins organization. Dave has been really progressive in this area. He really believes in it and he knows that it helps players. I think he is one of the guys at the forefront in seeing that this type of position can really help the players.

Other stuff


  1. Scottwood

    December 5, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Technically, if given enough defensive games, Polanco won’t be losing any value by switching over to 3rd base. The positional adjustments, at least for WAR, would be nearly identical.

  2. Mark A.

    December 5, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    Thanks for the link and discussion on those interviews, Bill. The busy work continues…I’ve got an interview with Nick Cassavechia waiting to be written up, and I’m talking with Mike Rojas tomorrow as well. I’ve got a pretty lengthy queue of interviews lined up for the off-season; including Casper Wells, Andy Oliver, Robbie Weinhardt, Zach Simons, Howard Bushong, Michael Morrison, Rawley Bishop, and many more….

  3. Big Game James

    December 5, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    While perhaps high on optimism, I believe that Iorg’s statistical disparities involve playing to the level of the competition. I expect and hope to see a strong spring from him.

    May Dombrowski, in the spirit of Christmas, provide us with positivity over some brilliant moves in the coming week!

    *By the way, anyone else think that the switch hitting Milton Bradley could actually be a workable piece on the Tigers, especially if it involves moving a Willis or Robertson contract? Besides the bonus (which I assume would be paid by the Cubs) he is owed 9 mil in 2010 and 12 mil in 2011 with a 2 mil buyout.

    His last A.L. season (2008) he played in 126 games with an .999 OPS.

    Too Sheffield-ish?

  4. Scott

    December 5, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    I have a hard time believing Leyland could stomach Bradley.

    • Shane Trapped in Toledo

      December 5, 2009 at 7:12 pm

      If anybody could handle him, it would be Leyland. Still, I do not want to test this.