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 Tigers re-sign Fernando Rodney, Marcus Thames

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PostSubject: Tigers re-sign Fernando Rodney, Marcus Thames   Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:59 pm

Tigers re-sign Fernando Rodney, Marcus Thames
Five players still eligible for arbitration

By JON PAUL MOROSI • FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER • January 14, 2009

Editor's note: Story updated at 6:32 p.m.

The Tigers announced today that they have avoided salary arbitration with reliever Fernando Rodney and outfielder Marcus Thames by signing them to one-year contracts.

Rodney, who will earn $2.7 million, is set to become a free agent after the upcoming season. Thames, whose contract will pay him $2.275 million, is on track to enter free agency in 2011.

Rodney, a 31-year-old right-hander, is tentatively scheduled to be the team’s closer. He converted 13 of 19 save opportunities in 2008 and had a 4.91 ERA. Rodney has remained healthy for a full season only once since 2003, which is one reason why the Tigers have continued to pursue late-inning relievers on the free-agent market.

Thames, 31, batted .241 with 25 home runs and 56 RBIs in 103 games last year. He is one of the team’s primary power threats -- despite his part-time role -- and is slated to be a reserve again in 2009. The majority of his at-bats are likely to come on days when leftfielder Carlos Guillen and/or designated hitter Gary Sheffield are out of the lineup.

Detroit has five players still eligible for arbitration: starters Justin Verlander and Edwin Jackson, relievers Bobby Seay and Joel Zumaya, and catcher Gerald Laird.
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PostSubject: Re: Tigers re-sign Fernando Rodney, Marcus Thames   Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:04 pm

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That's a lot of money for replacement level players.


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