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Any regrets?

Ivan Rodriguez is considering an offer to play for the Tigers next year. The Tigers are offering a four year, $40 million contract. In another forum, someone wondered if Rodriguez was reconsidering the Orioles' offer, reportedly 3 years at $24 million.

Hmm. If I were him, I'd be unhappy to be stuck in Detroit -- but I think I'd take Detroit's deal over that reported Oriole offer.

For one thing, it *is* a lot more money. $16 million. Now, if this were a short term contract, I'd take the less money/better situation. (That is, in fact, what he did _last_ year.) But he's 32; the Oriole offer would take him through age 34 and the Detroit offer through age 35. That's likely the end of his useful life as a star. I don't say it's the end of his career; he can probably hang around for another half-dozen years in a lesser role. (See Santiago, Benito.) My point here is that if he signed with the Orioles, in order for him to make up the difference moneywise between the two offers, he'd need a one-year $16M deal at age 35. That ain't in the right ballpark of what he'll be getting.

For another, it's not clear to me that it's that much better in Baltimore. On the one hand, Detroit's recent track record is awful. On the other, the Orioles' recent track record isn't good either. Yes, the Orioles look like they're making a move, but they've looked that way before. Moreover, to the extent that being in the playoffs is important to him, Detroit has an easier path to get there. (Namely: the AL Central.) They start from farther behind -- but it's a lot easier to improve from awful to mediocre than from mediocre to good.

For a third, Javy Lopez. Unless Rodriguez is eager to give up catching, why would he want to share time with Lopez? It would likely severely limit his value, both because he'd be playing less at the position where he's most valuable and because the Orioles have a big roster squeeze at his other possible position, DH, costing him even more playing time.

The counterargument, in favor of Baltimore, is:

  • Baltimore's likely a lot better. If neither team makes the playoffs, wouldn't you rather play on at least a mediocre team than a bad one?
  • Camden Yards vs. Comerica Park. 'Nuff said. In case it's not enough said, two additional points:
    • Camden Yards is perceived (though incorrectly so) as being much more hitter friendly. He's a hitter.
    • Camden Yards draws, even after this awful Thriftian run, 30K per night. Comerica draws half that. One would assume the former environment is more fun to play in.

Hmm. Is all of that worth $16M and the loss of playing time? I don't think so. But that's me, not him.

This is probably all academic; I didn't see anybody suggesting the Orioles' offer was still on the table.


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Comments (1)


I don't think IRod wants to play for the Tigers. It has been a while since he has been offered the deal from the them. He is probably just using the Tigers to get better offers from other teams.


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