Lynn 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.
Back during the 2015 playoffs the sorts of New York media types who love to find reasons to criticize players for petty reasons decided to criticize Yoenis Cespedes for playing golf the day of a playoff game. The Mets won the series with the Cubs during which the controversy, such as it was, occurred and it was soon dropped.
It was picked back up again in 2016 when Cespedes, while on the disabled list with a strained quad, was seen playing golf. Despite the fact that everyone involved said that golf did not contribute to his injury and that golf would have no impact on his injured quad, it was deemed “a bad look” by a columnist looking to get some mileage out of bashing Cespedes for having a hobby that probably half of all ballplayers share. They did it when he showed off his fancy cars too, by the way, even though just about every ballplayer has a fancy car or three. When you’re a superstar in New York — especially when you’re one with whom the media is not particularly close for various reasons — you’re going to catch hell for seemingly nothing.
Now there’s a new twist to the Cespedes golf saga. Yoenis himself says that his poor start — he’s hitting .195/.258/.354 and leads the league in strikeouts — is due to . . . not enough golf! From the New York Times:
He gave a possible reason for the poor start this weekend: not playing enough golf, a hobby beloved by many baseball players. And, yes, he is serious.
“In previous seasons, one of the things I did when I wasn’t going well was to play golf,” he said after a game on Friday in which he struck out four times but still drove in the go-ahead run in the 12th inning. “This year, I’m not playing golf.”
The story says Cespedes quit golf last summer because he worried that it was contributing to hamstring problems. He’s thinking about going back to it soon, as he thinks it’ll help his swing. Given that he’ll catch hell either way, he may as well do what he wants.