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Farewell to Placido Polanco and Curtis Granderson, Two Detroit Tigers Favorites

DETROIT - OCTOBER 14:  Curtis Granderson #28 of the Detroit Tigers celebrates with teammate Placido Polanco #14 after Granderson scored on a Craig Monroe double in the bottom of the fifth inning against the Oakland Athletics during Game Four of the American League Championship Series October 14, 2006 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Craig ComptonContributor IJanuary 15, 2010

The Tigers splitting ways with second baseman Placido Polanco left many Tiger fans hurt.

When they split ways with center fielder Curtis Granderson, fans were crushed.

Both men were great players and helped the top of the Tigers order as well as the defense.

Placido will make his way back to Philadelphia, where he played in 2003, 2004, and part of 2005. Polanco will not be playing second base, where most Tiger fans know him. He will instead be moved to the other side of the diamond to play third.

Polanco is a great lockup for the Phillies. He won't be ranked among the top power-hitting third basemen, but you can already pencil in that he will hit .300. He played the 2007 season with the Tigers as their everyday starter at second base. Placido didn't commit an error throughout the entire season and earned his first Gold Glove award.

On the other side of the things, the speedy Granderson will be in pinstripes next season. Via a trade, Granderson will be taking over center field duties for the New York Yankees in 2010.

Granderson was a favorite among a ton of Tiger fans. He was known for his speed, great personality, and never backing down from a challenge. Granderson was the Tigers' leadoff man the past couple of seasons and did just fine. He was always a threat to lay a bunt down and run it out, or bounce one up against the wall for a double, or even take opposing pitchers deep for a home run.

Both players will greatly be missed not only for the men they are, but also for the abilities they have on the field.

Scott Sizemore will take over at second base, and Austin Jackson will take over in center.

Also on Thursday afternoon, after the Tigers couldn't make a deal with Fernando Rodney, they signed a deal with right-handed closer Jose Valverde. The deal is expected to be a two-year, $14 million deal with an option in the third year.

The rest of the starting lineup should look the same as in the '09 season for the Tigers. Obviously they will have a lot to play for this season and a lot to prove after last year's collapse that cost them a spot in the postseason. It will be a fun year, and we will see what happens.

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