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Offering Polanco arbitration isn’t a risk worth taking

Placido Polanco

Detroit Tiger’s Placido Polanco (14) hits a triple during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla., Sunday, Sept. 6, 2009. The Tigers won 5-3.(AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)

AP

Lynn Henning of the Detroit Newsguesses that the Tigers will offer arbitration to Fernando Rodney, Brandon Lyon and even Placido Polanco before Tuesday’s deadline. While Rodney and Lyon -- both Type B free agents -- are risks Dave Dombrowski can afford on the off-chance they return, Polanco -- a Type A free agent -- simply isn’t.

Polanco, 34, batted .285/.331/.396 with 10 home runs and 72 RBI in 2009, winning his second Gold Glove earlier this month. He made $4.6 million last season and figures to make somewhere between $6-7 million this winter.

If the Tigers offer Polanco arbitration, a team would have to surrender two draft picks in order to sign him. This may severely limit Polanco’s list of potential suitors enough to paint general manager Dave Dombrowski into a corner for another year. Not the best idea with the team trying to show restraint with their payroll. The Tigers already have 24-year-old prospect Scott Sizemore ready to take the starting second base job in 2010, so while the two draft picks are enticing, it just wouldn’t be very wise. Expect the Tigers to let him walk on Tuesday.