Paul Wezner, Executive Editor
It's hard to not be happy with the events that transpired last week. Keeping Seay and Thames out of arbitration maybe cost the team all of a couple hundred thousand, and avoids any nasty arbitration battles and hurt feelings. Getting Nate Robertson at first glance seems like a lot, but then when you see what other pitchers are getting on the open market, it becomes obvious that is simply the going rate for a decent starting pitcher now. The big key is keeping Miguel Cabrera out of arbitration though. As has been stated, they can still discuss a long term deal for Cabrera, but a potential messy arbitration hearing could seriously derail any talk of a long term deal. By avoiding that, they've ensured Cabrera is compensated well, and still have the same bargaining power to get him signed long term. Good week for Dombrowski and company.
Mark Anderson, Managing Editor
Certain thumbs up! Avoiding arbitration with Seay and Thames is relatively meaningless in the grand scheme, but it gets one more thing out of the way in what has proven to be a very busy offseason. Both players received contracts in line with what an arbitrator would have ruled, so neither side got a grand deal; outside of having this done and out of the way. Locking in Cabrera for the year, rather than going to a win or lose scenario at arbitration, is wise. Why risk having an arbitrator decide on an amount that displeases your new star third baseman? Why not come to an agreement that both sides are happy with, then get on with discussions of a long term extension? Lastly, locking in Robertson is a fine move. Give some security to a pitcher who has proven durable and capable the last few years, is a good clubhouse presence, and generally gives the appearance of wanting to be a Tiger. Give him three years of security at a reasonable rate, and you've just shored up 1/5th of your rotation for another three seasons. Good moves by a management team that seems to be pushing all the right buttons of late.
Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
It's always good to avoid arbitration and the Tigers were able to do that by getting Marcus Thames, Bobby Seay, and Miguel Cabrera signed. By signing Nate Robertson to an extension, they avoid (at least for the time being) having to pay out huge contracts for mediocre pitchers (think of the money Seattle spent for Carlos Silva). Certainly Robertson's numbers aren't pretty sans 2006, but if he can bounce back and be league average during the duration of the contract, the $21 million invested in the left-hander will be well-spent.
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