Though Tigers management has never thought that Ramon Santiago was able to be a full-time player at the major league level, today they made it clear how valuable he is to this organization when they signed him to a two year deal that allows them to avoid arbitration.
Many wouldn’t think that putting a deal like this would be significant to the Tigers, think again. Securing Santiago for two years allows the Tigers to continue developing young talent, without having to worry about a backup plan.
Santiago’s ability defensively should help the Tigers if Scott Sizemore struggles. Last season, the tandem of Santiago and current starter Adam Everett seemed effective. It is uncertain whether that tandem will continue next season, but if it does Santiago can hold his own as a part time player.
As championship teams have displayed in the past, role players are key in having success. This deal that Ramon Santiago has accepted shows me that he has accepted this role. More importantly, he is ready to flourish in it. Santiago will earn 2.5 million over two years.
Dan Connelly of the Baltimore Sun tells us that former Tigers closer Fernando Rodney is the number one target to close in Baltimore next season. Rodney could definitely land the big bucks he is after and the multi year contract. He seems like an upgrade though from anything they have had in the pen for quite sometime though. The last time though the Tigers signed a reliever out of Detroit it didn’t work out too well. That news came later in the day, but now it seems that the Orioles are close to signing Mike Gonzalez. It will be interesting to see if the O’s will be going after both talents to bolster that pen that needs a lot of help.
If not, the market for Fernando Rodney shrinks yet again and he might have to hop on somewhere (maybe Detroit again) with a one-year deal.
Jamie Samuelson of the Detroit Free Press gives the Tigers an F on their off-season report card. Here are Samuelson’s thoughts:
"The Tigers entered the off-season needing to shore up the starting rotation and the bullpen and add a dependable bat to the lower third of the lineup. Instead, they’ve subtracted. Gone are the top two guys from the lineup last season. Gone is the setup man. Gone is the No. 2 or No. 3 starter, depending on who you ask. And unsigned is the closer who saved 97% of the games he could. So I’m having a hard time seeing how a team that fell just short of the playoffs in 2009 is somehow magically better."
Samuelson brings up a great point. As I have pointed out plenty of times, I support the off-season so far, but It is frustrating watching this team be degraded.
Billfer at The Detroit Tigers Weblog has the details on Curtis Granderson’s Celebrity Shootout. It looks like the show will go on. If you want one last chance to see Granderson perform one last time in a “Detroit” Uniform, here is your chance.