Offering Polanco arbitration isn't a risk worth taking

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Thumbnail image for placido polanco.jpgLynn Henning of the Detroit News guesses
that the Tigers will offer arbitration to Fernando Rodney, Brandon Lyon
and even Placido Polanco before Tuesday’s deadline
.

While Rodney and Lyon — both Type B free agents — are risks Dave
Dombrowski can afford on the off-chance they return, Polanco — a Type
A free agent — simply isn’t.



Polanco, 34, batted .285/.331/.396
with 10 home runs and 72 RBI in 2009, winning his second Gold Glove
earlier this month. He made $4.6 million last season and figures to
make somewhere between $6-7 million this winter.




If the Tigers offer Polanco
arbitration, a team would have to surrender two draft picks in order to
sign him. This may severely limit Polanco’s list of potential suitors
enough to paint general manager Dave Dombrowski into a corner for another year. Not the
best idea with the team trying to show restraint with their payroll. The
Tigers already have 24-year-old prospect Scott Sizemore ready to take the
starting second base job in 2010, so while the two draft picks are
enticing, it just wouldn’t be very wise.

Expect the Tigers to let him walk on Tuesday.

The deadline is 8 PM ET Monday for Shohei Ohtani situation to be resolved

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Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.

Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.

Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.