Detroit Tigers let Placido Polanco slip through their fingers

Joshua Lobdell - Author

Jun. 15 2013, Updated 9:26 p.m. ET

This is yet another major strike against Dave Dombrowski, General Manager of the Detroit Tigers. He has let the Tigers’ starting second baseman, and 2009 Gold Glove Winner, leave town without even offering him a contract or salary arbitration. This leaves a huge hole in the middle of the Tigers defensive infield, and a hole at their #2 lineup spot. The Tigers were afraid that Polanco wanted 8 million dollars a year plus, but signed with the Phillies for far less and to serve as their everyday third baseman. The biggest mistake made here by the Tigers front office is that by offering Arbitration to Polanco the Phillies would have had to send the Tigers a first round draft pick in next year’s MLB draft for signing him.

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This is more fallout for Dombrowski’s mismanagement of the Tigers payroll. They are now on cost cutting mode, and cannot unload a number of big money dead contracts. The most notable of these is the 18 million dollars they owe Magglio Ordonez in 2010 for allowing him to achieve a performance clause in his contract during the 2009 season.

The real point here is Polanco signed a deal with the Phillies worth a very affordable five million dollars in 2010, along with a 500k signing bonus. In 2011 he will make just 5.25 million, and 6.25 million in 2012. Their is a mutual option for 2013 at the base rate of 5.5 million with a million dollar buyout. Since the Tigers other sticking point beyond money was length of a new deal, it seems they could have signed him to at least a two year deal for 6-7 million dollars a year and been competitive with the Phillies for Polanco who was arguably one of their best players the past few years.

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