The Tigers declined to offer salary arbitration to any of their five free agents, they announced via twitter this morning. The move is not surprising in any way, as the risk of having to pay the excessive contracts were far worse than the reward of getting another season of service from any of them.
Bless You Boys gave the cases for each of the ranked free agents (Gerald Laird, Johnny Damon, and Magglio Ordonez) this morning, but Bobby Seay and Jeremy Bonderman were also eligible to receive offers. There would have been no value in doing that whatsoever.
All five remain eligible to be re-signed by the Tigers, but none will have draft pick compensation attached should they sign elsewhere.
Ordonez was the only one of the five that merited consideration, as his production last year was quite good before suffering a broken ankle that ended his season in July. If the Tigers had offered, Maggs would have been in line to earn no less than $14.4 million in 2011. It was a risk the Tigers could not take given his age and injury history.
Ordonez remains a candidate to return as the right fielder, but the prospects of him signing elsewhere went up when the Tigers declined to make an offer. With no draft pick attached, Ordonez will have many more suitors to choose from.