Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Arbitration Matters and Latin Links

It took them a while, but the Tigers finally announced the corresponding move to make room for Victor Martinez on the roster by designating Zach Miner for assignment. Miner is recovering from Tommy John surgery, and the DFA automatically makes him a free agent, but the Tigers are interested in bringing him back on a minor league deal (though I think the assertion that he’d compete for a bullpen spot or perhaps try to crack the starting rotation is a bit optimistic, considering that it usually takes about a year to recover from Tommy John surgery and he just had his in late May). I don’t really dislike Miner (though Jim Leyland’s plans to use him out of the bullpen to get double plays never really seemed to work out the way they were supposed to), but right now I’ve gotten myself into “think of the alternative” mode, so at this point, the DFA doesn’t really bother me. Besides, he was a prime non-tender candidate anyways. Speaking of which, that deadline is Thursday, and by my count, there are three other Tigers who are arbitration-eligible. Since Ryan Raburn is essentially the left fielder right now, I expect that to be uneventful, and as I said before, they’d be foolish to not tender a contract to Armando Galarraga. That leaves Joel Zumaya as a possible non-tender candidate because of the injuries, but Jason Beck has said that the Tigers will probably offer him a contract, and they should, because when he’s healthy, Zumaya can be very effective, and he won’t be that expensive. There’s certainly room in the payroll for him.

And now I have some links for you concerning a few Latin American players:
  • Thanks to some internet browsing, I have found a couple websites that stream live television broadcasts of Venezuelan baseball. I was watching one such game a couple days ago and it just so happened that Carlos Guillen was a guest in the broadcast booth and they held about a 10-minute interview with him. I was able to make an audio recording of part of the interview, so you can have at it. The sound quality’s not great (especially since this was happening during a game, so you hear cheering in the background as one team was in the middle of scoring a bunch of runs), and it’s entirely in Spanish. Unfortunately, I can’t translate much of it (He gets asked about Victor Martinez, the high number of Venezuelans on the Tigers, and the perfect game, among other things).
  • The presentation of the Luis Aparicio Award took place last Thursday (The article is in Spanish, but at least I could understand most of it). The award went to Carlos Gonzalez of the Colorado Rockies, but Armando Galarraga received an honorable mention for the perfect game and his actions following it. He was unable to attend the award ceremony because he’s in Texas right now (or at least he was as of Thursday), but someone managed to get an interview with him (which I can provide a translation for, if you guys want me to).
  • Galarraga was also a runner-up for Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year for 2010 (which was given to Drew Brees). Joe Posnanski wrote the nomination article about him and Pat Forde also tweeted his support.
  • Via former Mud Hen Scot Drucker, we’ve learned that 2006 ALCS Game 2 hero Alexis Gomez was injured in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. We in the Tigers community all hope for the best. 
  • And finally, happy 39th birthday to former Tiger Pudge Rodriguez. And to no one’s surprise, he’s got no plans to retire any time soon (link in Spanish).

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