Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Detroit Yankees

The singles were for keeping Todd Jones

The Tigers had taken a lot of beatings from the White Sox from 1995-2005, but it looks like money does make a team after all. The Tigers just signed Curtis Granderson to a 5 year $30.25 million contract -- before he was even eligible for free agency. This marks yet another expensive move by the Tigers that (unfortunately) makes them even better in the long haul.

At some point in 2004, the Tigers decided that they were going to become big spenders. They were coming off an 119-loss season (an AL record), and had a middle of the road payroll. First they offered Magglio the largest and longest contract (by far), and then they signed Pudge Rodriguez to a similarly huge deal. There were some minor wheelings and dealings over the past few years (not going to knock their starting pitching in 06 -- that was solid), and then this year they came out spending again.

First they went after Edgar Renteria, and then followed with the unthinkable trade for Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis. These players cost money! Any holes that the offense had were filled and then some. It's not like Brandon Inge wasn't a good 3B, and now he has to go back to playing catcher to try and get a backup spot on the team!

The real question is, do you need to spend so much money to be a good team? I hate that baseball encourages teams to abandon their star players because they're too good (and therefore too expensive), but there's something to be said when a team like the Tigers (or the Cubs!) blows a couple hundred million in an offseason and magically becomes competitive. If your team is bad, it should be because you have a lousy farm system -- not because you're a penny pincher. It's part of the reason I'm secretly an A's fan -- they're competitive every year with shrewd acquisitions and homegrown talent.

God, baseball needs a strike.

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