Detroit Tigers and the Free Agency Curse

Adam La MarcaContributor IJune 11, 2008

For years the New York Yankees have swung around their bags full of money in the free agent market to get the top free agents.

When it comes to pitching, the Yankees in the past years have found their money going to guys that have veteran experience just not be able to cut it. Whether it be Javier Vazquez, Randy Johnson, Kevin Brown, Roger Clemens (the second time) and of course Carl Pavano, these guys all came into free agency with the highest of potential and the Yankees were more the happy to open their man bags up.

Well this year, Brian Cashman fought for his young talent arms like Philip Hughes, Ian Kennedy, Darrel Rasner, Joba Chamberlain and the other talent (Melky Cabrera) that would have gone in a trade for a talented free agent lefty Johan Santana.

Yes, Santana is doing pretty well for himself over with the Mets, but the Mets are still struggling and yes Philip Hughes is on the DL and didn't fair well before that and yes Ian Kennedy is enjoying on and off stints in the wonderful city of Wilkes-Barre, PA.

But a free agency period and a few trades that the Yankees have done, the team seemed to still fare pretty well and they haven't missed the playoffs since '95.

Many fans and teams criticize the Yankees for their lavish spending in free agency but many teams have jumped on this band wagon.

The Boston Red Sox during their World Series runs have made several key free agent acquisitions (and used very few players from their farm system, something the Yankees had plenty of during their World Series runs).

We have also seen the Mets and the Angels bump up their payrolls thanks to large free agent signings the past few years, but have yet to be successful. The most recent one to be plagued by the curse would be the Detroit Tigers who spent plenty of money to bring in free agents Edgar Renteria, Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, Magglio Ordonez, Gary Sheffield, Miguel Cabrera (via trade) and last but definitely not least, Dontrelle Willis.

Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera were thought to be two championship caliber pick ups last off-season for the Tigers but have been anything but.

Willis, who will be making a very hard trip down to Lakeland, Florida tomorrow to join the single A Lakeland Flying Tigers, will try to fix his control issues.

Willis, who was on the DL from April 13th to May 21st, has only pitched 11.1 innings this season. Detroit probably wishes he wouldn't have even pitched that much as he has given up 7 hits, with a 10.32 era and a strikeout/walk ratio of 5 to 21.

After coming out of the bullpen for a few games, the Tigers gave Dontrelle the chance to prove he can still start and was worth the $29 million they Tigers signed him for. This isn't a big surprise to me at all, his numbers were his worst last season and it seemed he struggled a lot against the line up the second time around. How many guys have been able to come back from disasters like this and be back in the bigs, one comes to my mind and he plays the outfield for the St. Louis Cardinals now, Rick Ankiel.

I mean Dontrelle has always bragged that he is a very good hitter.

Congratulations Detroit, now you have yet another outfielder to add to your dysfunctional family.

Look out for my next article about the formula to championships next week.


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