First off, a belated congratulations to the San Francisco Giants and their fans for the World Series win. They simply outpitched the Rangers and totally shut their big bats down. And they beat Cliff Lee twice. Meanwhile, the Rangers kind of looked like they had the yips, kind of like the Tigers did in 2006 and the Rays in 2008. And now, onto Tiger news...
Over the weekend, it became apparent that the Tigers have found themselves a shortstop for the time being. Jhonny Peralta has agreed to a deal that is for two years with a third-year option. Actually, the deal looks remarkably similar to the one Brandon Inge got a couple weeks ago (I’m not sure if the fact that they have the same agent has anything to do with that). The announcement has been met with a bunch of grumbling about how Peralta is Edgar Renteria Redux. I actually said as much when the Tigers first acquired him, but that never really manifested, and his defense wasn’t all that bad. Still, I would rather they had just picked up the option on his prior contract and try to upgrade the shortstop position next offseason. At the same time, there has to be a reason why Dave Dombrowski didn’t want to pick up that option, and he hasn’t said what that was. Therefore, there is currently not enough information available to make an educated opinion on this deal. But I do know that there was not a very good selection of shortstops on the free agent market this year, and right now I’m so gun-shy when it comes to trades that part of me doesn’t even want to fathom that as an option. Besides, I’m more concerned with other players, so I really don’t feel strongly towards this deal either way (positive or negative).
Speaking of which, a couple of articles appeared on Tigers.com that dealt with a couple guys I have concern for. As I pretty much expected, Armando Galarraga has been granted Super Two status for his arbitration years. Before I go on, I would like to point out that I know perfectly well what Super Two is, and I do not need to have it explained to me. What puzzles me is Jason Beck’s reaction to the whole thing. His tone in the article seemed to suggest that it changes everything in regards to how the Tigers would deal with Galarraga this year. I’m not sure why it would. After all, I fully expected him to be arbitration eligible this year (that stemmed from the fact that I overestimated his service time, not that I expected Super Two status). Beck even mentions in his own article that the Tigers fully expected him to be arbitration-eligible, so I’m not sure what the issue is. I find it hard to believe that having four arbitration years instead of three has any effect on the outcome of the first arbitration year. It’s not like all of a sudden they have to pay him ten million dollars next year just because he’s a Super Two. And as I said before, non-tendering him would be a foolish move, and Jason Beck seems to be the only one entertaining that as a serious possibility. Still, the article does nothing to instill confidence that he’ll remain with this team much longer.
While we’re on the subject of pessimistic news, we have another article telling us that it’s going to be very difficult to re-sign Magglio Ordoñez. Scott Boras is up to his old tricks, to no one’s surprise, telling everyone who stands still long enough that “lots of teams” have contacted him about Magglio. Boras is going to do what he does with all of his clients: get teams in a bidding war, get teams to bid against themselves, and make every team’s fans sick of the process. I am going out on a limb here, but I have noticed that one of Boras’s favorite tricks seems to be getting a player’s old team involved in the bidding process. He did it a couple years ago, trying to get the Texas Rangers involved while the Tigers were trying to negotiate re-signing Kenny Rogers (Rogers, to his credit, proceeded to fire Boras and represented himself). Therefore, it would not surprise me to see Boras trying to court the White Sox. I know there’s some bad blood between Maggs and Ozzie Guillen, but I’ll hearken back to my previous example and point out that Kenny Rogers was not on good terms with the Rangers when Boras tried to bring them into it. Plus, the White Sox are in need of an upgrade at DH, no matter what Ozzie says. But whatever he does, Boras is going to make sure this becomes a knockdown, dragged-out fight and we’re all going to hate it. Missing from this analysis is what Magglio thinks of all this. Near the end of the season, Miguel Cabrera told reporters that Magglio told him he wanted to return. Maggs himself echoed that sentiment to a Venezuelan reporter about a month ago, but it remains to be seen who is more in control in this player-agent relationship. It also remains to be seen just how long Dave Dombrowski will put up with Scott Boras’s antics. The Tigers have been pretty good at dealing with Boras in the past (re: Pudge, Maggs, Rogers, and most recently Johnny Damon), which is probably the only good sign in this saga, but with a big bat being their most pressing need, if they tango with Boras too long and lose out on Maggs, the alternatives may already be gone. And people wonder why I’m developing a serious distaste for the offseason.