Offering Polanco arbitration isn't a risk worth taking

Leave a comment

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.

Dustin Pedroia going back on injured list

Getty Images
4 Comments

Welp, that didn’t last long. Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is going back on the injured list with more knee issues. If it matters the Sox say it’s not a big deal and they expect him back sooner rather than later, but they also said that his post-2017 knee surgery was just a “cleanup” at first and that basically cost him a year. So.

Pedroia has played in six games and is 2-for-20 with a walk.

I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that Pedroia’s career may be nearing an end. Sure, he’s under contract for two more years after this season, but he’s also in a unfortunate spiral that so many players experience in their mid-to-late 30s.

Running a website like this makes it all the clearer, actually. When you search a player’s name in our CMS, you get every post in which he appears in reverse chronological order. Just about every long-tenured player ends with about six posts in which he is alternately placed on and activated from the disabled/injured list. Then an offseason link to a big feature in which he’s written about as being “at a crossroads” followed by something vague about “resuming baseball activities” and then, inevitably, the retirement announcement. I can’t count the number of guys whose careers I can tick off in that way by browsing the guts of this site.

I hope that’s not the case for Pedroia. I hope that there’s a “Pedroia wins Comeback Player of the Year” post in the future. Or at the very least a silly “Miller’s Crossing” reference in an “And that Happened” in which I say “the old man’s still an artist with the Thompson” after he peppers the ball around in some 3-for-4, two-double game. I want that stuff to happen.

It’s just that, if you watch this game long enough, you realize how unlikely that is once a player starts to break down.