Detroit Tigers: 5 worst moves in Dave Dombrowski era
Aug 8, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers former player Placido Polanco throws out the ceremonial first pitch before the game against the Boston Red Sox at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
#3: Nothing retaining Placido Polanco
We touched on the trade that brought second baseman Placido Polanco to the Detroit Tigers to stabilize second base as one of the best deals of the Dave Dombrowski era last week. So it is fitting that not bringing him back after the 2009 season was one of his biggest mistakes.
Polanco finally closed the revolving door of second basemen the Tigers had since the trade of Damion Easley before the 2003 season. He hit .338, .295, .341 and .307 in his first four years in Detroit before falling off a bit to .285 in 2009, although he won a Gold Glove that year, the last one any Tiger has won to date.
Perhaps DD viewed him as a declining player and not worthy of the sum he’d command in free agency, so the team moved forward without offering Polanco a contract even though he said on multiple occasions he wanted to come back.
His free agent contract with the Philadelphia Phillies was for three-years, $18 million. Hardly a bank breaker considering that once again second base was an issue with the Tigers, and not really solved until they brought back Omar Infante in the trade for Anibal Sanchez at the trading deadline of 2012.
The team opted instead for Scott Sizemore at second base. He made the Opening Day roster there, but was demoted to Toledo and traded later in the season.
Meanwhile Polanco had another couple of stellar years back in Philadelphia, including his second and final All-Star appearance in 2011 and another Gold Glove.
Next: Hiring Brad Ausmus