Monday, January 17, 2011

Avoiding the Arbitor

The Tigers avoided arbitration with 2 of their 3 arbitration eligible players, OF Ryan Raburn and P Joel Zumaya, both players signed new contracts last week. Raburn signed a 2 year contract extension, worth $1.3 Million for 2011 and $2.1 Million for 2012. Zumaya signed a contract for a reported $1.4 Million.

The Raburn and Zumaya signings leaves SP Armando Galarraga as the only arbitration eligible player. Despite the fact that the arbitration process is completely separate from what are considered “team” activities, the Galarraga arbitration hearing could prove to be very relevant to how the Tigers rotation sets up for the 2011 season.

Of course the Tigers are going to try and get Armando signed to a low contract, while Galarraga’s agent will try for the opposite.

If you are unfamiliar with how the arbitration process works, here is a link to a website that explains the process in simple terms.

If Armando’s hearing awards him a high dollar contract, Jim Leyland might be forced to bump one of the team’s currently scheduled starters, Rick Porcello, or Phil Coke to keep him in the rotation. I doubt that scenario takes place, but it could happen and would be something to watch as the hearing takes place before spring training.

The Tigers are in a very good place with their rotation, and I’m sure that the Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals are wishing they had Detroit’s “rotation problem”- of having too many qualified candidates. The Tigers have 6 pitchers competing for 5 rotation slots, and any of the 6 has the potential of being above average for their slot in the rotation.

I will be addressing the rotation and as well as how the Tigers stack up against their competition in the AL Central as the spring progresses.

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