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 Tigers still have shot at Fernando Rodney

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Number of posts : 57424
Age : 58
Location : Eastern Ohio, near Wheeling WV
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PostSubject: Tigers still have shot at Fernando Rodney   Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:36 am

Last Updated: December 07. 2009 1:12AM
Tigers still have shot at Fernando Rodney
Lynn Henning / The Detroit News

Indianapolis -- While they're waiting to see if one or more trades might be prudent as baseball's winter meetings get rolling today, the Tigers also will wait on a phone call from Fernando Rodney's agent.

Rodney and fellow reliever and free agent Brandon Lyon must declare by midnight whether they will accept Detroit's offer of salary arbitration for 2010.

Lyon has been rumored to be in line for a multi-year deal, possibly with the Phillies. He almost certainly will bypass arbitration as he sets sights on the best possible free-agent deal.

Rodney, who had 37 saves for the Tigers in 2009, is in a more delicate position. With lots of relief pitchers on the market, the 32-year-old Rodney could decide that a one-year contract with the Tigers is worth considering when the heavy multi-year offer he prefers isn't a sure thing.

That's for Rodney and his representatives, Sam and Seth Levinson of New York, to decide. The Tigers already have made clear they're willing to risk a bold salary for Rodney, whether it's awarded by an arbitrator or agreed upon in advance by Rodney and the Tigers.

And that's hardly a surprise. The Tigers bullpen was formidable in 2009, even if Rodney scared the daylights out of his team and fans because of the runner or two he so often put on base.

But what the Tigers liked about Rodney beyond his 37 saves was his durability. Jim Leyland could give him the ball on a regular basis and know Rodney had the physical mettle to finish or throw a solid inning or inning-plus and turn around a night or two later and do the same.

If only Lyon signs elsewhere, the Tigers will be shopping for replacement relievers between now and Opening Day. If Lyon and Rodney go, the Tigers will be doubling their shopping list with minimum dollars available.

And that's why they won't be a bit bothered if Rodney opts for arbitration.

Everything else is in flux as the Tigers arrived Sunday for meetings that will conclude Thursday.

They need a shortstop, and would happily re-sign free agent Adam Everett if he and his representatives drop their asking price.

A shortstop also could be one of the players involved in trades the Tigers make this week or afterward. Those potential deals continue to feature Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson, although the Tigers have no list of players they're making available. Neither do they feel pressured to make a trade this week or at any time during the offseason if they're not wild about the counteroffer.

But the winter meetings tend to be a popular trading post for most teams, the Tigers notably. It was at the 2008 winter meetings that Dave Dombrowski, the Tigers president and general manager, traded for Jackson and catcher Gerald Laird. Two years ago, Dombrowski blew away the meetings when he traded for Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis.

Four years ago, the Tigers signed pitchers Kenny Rogers and Todd Jones.

Dombrowski, for the record, believes this year's meetings will be "active."

It means he's in the mood to trade. And few in baseball's industry ranks would be surprised if he makes at least one deal before everyone heads home Thursday.

“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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