January 30th, 2010 at 2:15 PM ^

Rodney got the job done way more often than not last year, but he was kidding himself asking for as much money as he did, and he really only pitched well in a contract year, so I don't think that would bode well for this season if he returned.
While the Tigers overpaid Valverde, I think his stats indicate he's more likely to be able to sustain success as a closer than Rodney. While Rodney was a huge improvement over Todd "I pitch in games like I'm throwing batting practice" Jones in terms of being the prototypical power closer, Valverde has clearly been the better pitcher the last few years. I don't like that we'll be sending our first round pick to Houston, but at least we're getting a couple 2nd rounders back for Rodney and Lyon, and we've been spending big in the draft the last few years anyway. Long story short, I'm not too sad to see the Tigers let Rodney go.


January 30th, 2010 at 2:03 PM ^

They need to lock Verlander down now, because otherwise he's going to be wearing a Yankees, Red Sox, Angels or Dodgers jersey next year making way more than Illitch wants to spend.


January 30th, 2010 at 3:37 PM ^

I thought he was under our control for the next two years. Meaning he is arbitration eligible.

As for the contract, we do not want to piss him off, so we can't wait too long or lowball. However, he had a career year last year, and we're going to have to pay for it. I think Verlander is awesome, but if we believe he is a top tier pitcher, we should sign him for more than 5 years. But, we've been burned lately on the back end of long-term deals.

These Tigers are much like last years group. They are the wait and see Tigers. They were counted out by everyone, except Mitch Williams on MLB Network, and they were stronger than anticipated. It is easily within reason to suspect they'll contend for the division. They will not have the best lineup in the division this year, but they may still have the best pitching staff. Our defense will be good, and we'll pitch well. That gives us a great chance.


January 30th, 2010 at 2:21 PM ^

I agree, but fortunately I don't think Tigers are stupid enough to let JV go. There's some good money likely coming off the books during or after this season: Magglio, Bonderman, Willis, and Robertson are the big ones, plus possibly Inge and Laird (please please PLEASE get rid of Laird). The combination of the money they're shedding and the likely emergence of a couple premium pitching prospects (Jacob Turner, Casey Crosby, et al) should make a larger contract for Verlander feasible even with the big (but justified) contract owed to Miguel Cabrera. So money won't be the issue, the Tigers just have to play things right by acting like they want to be contenders and by showing they're serious about signing him. With Verlander as a bona fide ace and guys like Porcello, Scherzer, Turner and whoever else behind him, that rotation could be scary for years to come.


January 30th, 2010 at 2:28 PM ^

He's got the upper hand here. I think that he would be silly not to test free agency, especially given the way the Tigers have done business this offseason. I would think that Baltimore and Washington would intrigue him.


January 30th, 2010 at 3:10 PM ^

that his arm doesn't explode after throwing 112 pitches per start because leyland is horrible at managing his pitchers and verlander tries to throw his way out of trouble instead of pitching out of it. he threw almost 4000 pitches last year, and i'm guessing that at least 2500 of those were fastballs at an average of about 95 mph. in retrospect i'm almost happy they didn't make a deep run in the playoffs (or make them at all) because verlander would have gone 130 in every single one of his starts.

i don't think you bring him all the way down to a porcello level of workload, but last year was way out of control. he's so talented, and maybe his mechanics are flawless, i don't know well enough to say. but it's scary and exhilarating at the same time.


January 30th, 2010 at 3:19 PM ^

JV deserves the opportunity to pitch out of a jam. He needs to be signed soon. The evil empire that is ruining baseball will offer him a small country.


January 30th, 2010 at 3:25 PM ^

Verlander is a great pitcher but he is not elite. He should not expect CC, Halladay, or Lincecum money. 15 million a year is a good deal for Verlander and the Tigers.

I know Verlander wants to get paid but if he becomes an elite pitcher the Tigers can resign him 3-4 years into this deal and sign him long term.