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 No non-tenders this year for Tigers

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PostSubject: No non-tenders this year for Tigers   Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:53 pm

No non-tenders this year for Tigers
Verlander contract, in particular, looms for club

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

12/14/09 3:45 PM EST

DETROIT -- The Tigers tendered contracts to all of their arbitration-eligible players, as expected, by Saturday night's deadline, setting up a winter of negotiations as they try to keep payroll in line while still holding onto their remaining talent.

All-Star starter Justin Verlander, catcher Gerald Laird, infielder Ramon Santiago, starter/reliever Zach Miner, left-handed specialist Bobby Seay and setup man Joel Zumaya all were offered contracts. Team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said early last week that he did not anticipate any non-tenders, and the ensuing trade that sent Curtis Granderson to the Yankees and Edwin Jackson to the D-backs for center fielder Austin Jackson and three pitchers didn't change the situation.

Essentially, the Tigers took care of their non-tenders in October, when they released outfielder Marcus Thames and backup catcher Matt Treanor. Both of them would've been eligible for arbitration.

The Tigers have yet to agree to terms with any of the players, so they'll all begin the early stages of the arbitration process. Players can begin filing for arbitration from Jan. 5-15. Those who file will exchange salary figures with teams on Jan. 19. If the two sides can't settle, they'll go to hearings scheduled in February.

Of all the contract situations, Verlander's is the most intriguing. A second-time arbitration-eligible player, he's on track to become a free agent after the 2011 season. Traditionally, teams try to lock up starting pitchers to long-term contracts two years ahead of free agency, when long-term security is more appealing than it would be the next offseason. The Tigers haven't commented on any contract talks, but Dombrowski has said they'd like Verlander to remain a Tiger for a long time.

Beyond dollars and cents, however, another factor in any Verlander contract might be convincing the highly competitive and highly motivated right-hander of the team's long-term goals and their chance to contend in the years ahead. Despite trading Granderson and Jackson, the Tigers have insisted that they believe they have a chance to win in 2010 and beyond.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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