With the Detroit Tigers solving the first of many offseason issues in hiring rookie manager Brad Ausmus, general manager Dave Dombrowski is far from done with facing hard decisions.
Early Tuesday, the Tigers announced that no qualifying offers would come from the team on free agents Joaquin Benoit, Jhonny Peralta, Omar Infante, or Ramon Santiago. With the fifth highest payroll in the major leagues in 2013 at just around $150 million, the Tigers payroll will not be getting any smaller with pitchers Max Scherzer and Doug Fister due for arbitration.
97.1 The Ticket’s Mike Valenti see one possible option to solve the Tigers’ money and personnel issues: trade on of the starting pitchers.
“I think the Tigers have been living in luxury land,” Valenti said on his radio show Tuesday. “They need to trade one of the starters. If they keep the starters together, it eats up an additional $20 million when you need to fix other things on this team. If you keep the pitching staff together you will lose Joaquin Benoit, Jhonny Peralta, and Omar Infante because you can no longer afford them.”
Benoit, Peralta, and Infante made a combined $15.5 million during 2013, but with the market for players in an upward flux, that number would skyrocket if the Tigers attempted to resign all three players.
“With Scherzer going to cost what he is going to cost or likely walking away at the end of the season, trading him would get you one big piece immediately and probably another one later,” Valenti continued. “The pitching staff has the biggest surplus on the team that’s also costing you the most money.”
Scherzer made just over $6 million in 2013 which has been projected to increase to around $14 million after arbitration.
With so many positions to fill, should the Tigers trade one of their starters to get maximum value? Or should the team try to rebuild from within?
Let us know in the comments below.
- Tigers Decline To Make Qualifying Offers To Benoit, Peralta, Infante (detroit.cbslocal.com)