The Tigers have reportedly made a two-year contract offer to relief pitcher Jose Valverde. Jason Beck of MLB.com, writes Valverde ending up in Detroit is the most likely situation for the right-hander. Beck figures that the Tigers two-year offer to Valverde is probably in the $12-$14M range. In addition to this generous chunk of change, the Tigers would have to surrender their first-round pick, the 19th overall selection.
I’m going to sound like a broken record here, but I just don’t see how this deal makes any sense. The Tigers have pretty big holes in the outfield and in the starting rotation, yet they are on the verge of signing a relatively high-priced closer? I don’t get it. It’s beginning to look like the Tigers didn’t unload Granderson/Jackson for monetary reasons.
If the Tigers did trade Granderson and Jackson to save money, they wouldn’t be going after Valverde and I’m not sure they would have let Fernando Rodney and Placido Polanco walk away. Did the Tigers brass just not believe in Granderson and Jackson? Did they think they could cash in on their peaks and bail before the bottom fell out? That’s what it will look like if the Tigers sign Valverde.
Also, if they are trying to save money, then why give up the 19th pick in the draft? The draft is the best place to make your team better for very little money. While the Tigers overpaid for a guy like Rick Porcello, he sure looks cheap right now.
Finally, very few people out there are picking the Tigers as contenders in 2010. One of the last things a non-contender needs is a high-priced relief pitcher. Also, it’s not like the Tigers don’t have any options? Ryan Perry could close. Ditto for Joel Zumaya or Daniel Schlereth. While all three could fall flat, they would come cheap and if the Tigers aren’t in the playoff race, who really cares? I’m of the opinion that there is no difference between a 70 win team and a 90-win team if neither team makes the postseason.
I’ve said all along that I’ll only buy the Granderson trade if the Tigers continue to cut money from their bloated payroll. Adding payroll makes that deal make less sense.