Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tigers need trip to postseason to justify lavish salaries, contracts

        Team president and general manager Dave Dombrowski makes no secret of the fact: The Tigers want to win now.
        That is why they shelled out an additional $5 million on top of the nearly $130 million they were already dispensing in salaries for this season in order to “rent” Jarrod Washburn and Aubrey Huff for the stretch drive and, hopefully, the postseason beyond.
        The clock is ticking on this high-priced team, as it is currently assembled. Aging owner Mike Ilitch has spent more than $270 million over the past two seasons in pursuit of a winner. He expects results.
        However, the Tigers have also invested heavily in their future.
        Miguel Cabrera will be around until 2015,  when, by the way, he will be making $22 million. I wonder how Miguel’s 8-year, $152.3 blockbuster contract will be viewed then.
        Brandon Inge is signed for next season. After what he has done this year, he will be a bargain at $6.6 million.
        Curtis Granderson (5 years, $30.25) is signed through 2013. Smart move on the Tigers’ part.
        Carlos Guillen is signed through 2011 which will probably bring him to the end of his career. By then, at age 36, he will be making $13 million. “I won’t have to retire,” Guillen said the other day. “They’ll retire me.”
        Rick Porcello is signed through 2010, with club options from 2011 and 2012 — when he will still only be making $1.344 million. Don’t be surprised if Scott Boras, Porcello’s strong-armed agent, asks to revisit that deal.
        But first things first.
        Those long-term contracts and lavish salaries will be a lot easier to swallow with another trip to the postseason in the Tigers’ rear view mirror.


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