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Friday, March 12, 2010
Should Tigers have punted Polanco?

Would he, or wouldn't he have? If you believe him, he probably would have:

Yeah, it kind of worked out well. For Polanco, and the Phillies too. Polanco is a bargain at $6 million per season.

And yeah, the Tigers "had to weigh the pros of possibly landing two high draft picks against the cons of having Polanco on a one-year contract." But how severe were the cons, really?

We know that Polanco's value is substantially higher than $6 million for one season, because he signed with the Phillies for three years and $18 million. So let's peg his 2010 value -- on the market, as opposed to on the field -- at $7 million.

By offering Polanco arbitration, the Tigers would have gotten either two draft picks, had Polanco declined and signed with another club, or a $7 million commodity, who they could have either played or traded.

The Tigers didn't want to play Polanco because they've already got Brandon Inge at third base and they're going with rookie Scott Sizemore at second. Both of those guys bat right-handed, as does Polanco, so you can understand why the latter was considered surplus talent.

What this comes down to, I think, is that Dave Dombrowski didn't trust his ability to trade Polanco for value before Opening Day. Or maybe Dombrowski's boss didn't trust Dombrowski's ability. Either way, it's just odd to see a team give up a valuable, yet relatively cheap player like Polanco for nothing.