Polanco Probably Would Have Accepted Arbitration

Placido Polanco certainly won't be hurting for money after signing a three-year deal worth $18MM with the Phillies this offseason, but if the Tigers had offered him arbitration, he probably would have accepted it according to MLB.com's Jason Beck.

"You know, if they would've offered me arbitration, I probably would've accepted it," Polanco said. "Probably. I didn't know what was out there. Most teams were waiting on that. Most teams wait on that, because the type of free agent I was, they have to give up a Draft pick. So that kind of worked out well for me."

After earning $4.6MM during his final season in Detroit, Polanco was probably looking at a $6MM salary or so if he had accepted arbitration and gone to a hearing. As a Type-A free agent, a team would have had to surrender a high draft pick to sign him if he turned down the offer. The Tigers had to weigh the pros of possibly landing two high draft picks against the cons of having Polanco on a one-year contract, likely at more money than they were comfortable paying him. 

Several players, including Rafael Soriano, Carl Pavano, and Rafael Betancourt, accepted arbitration this winter instead of exploring the free agent market. They went for the guaranteed pay day over a shot at bigger money as a free agent. Several teams, such as the Dodgers and Yankees, chose not to offer arbitration to any of their free agents to avoid getting stuck with a player on an expensive contract, even if it was only for one year.

22 Responses to Polanco Probably Would Have Accepted Arbitration Leave a Reply

  1. firealyellon 5 years ago


    • j6takish 5 years ago

      Why? They wanted to let Polanco walk, to make room for Sizemore. Everyone was criticizing DD for NOT offering arb to get draft picks, now we know he made the right decision by not offering arb

  2. Guest 5 years ago

    I’m just surprised that Polanco switched to 3B after winning a gold glvoe the previous year at 2B.

    • BentoBox 5 years ago

      Well, the $6 Million does look attractive ..

    • alphabet_soup5 5 years ago

      Either because Chase Utley doesn’t have the skills to move to 3B, or just because it’s Chase Utley and he doesn’t want to switch positions. A-Rod won the gold glove for SS the year before he became the Yankees 3B.

      • Guest 5 years ago

        No, I’m not saying it was silly for the Phillies to put him at third. I’m saying it was silly for Placido Polanco to accept a job playing 3B. I know he wants to play for a contending team and he wants to be in a place thats familiar to him but I guarantee there would have been at least two contending teams willing to sign him to play 2B. Maybe the Rockies, Twins, Dodgers, and maybe even Giants would have jumped.

  3. tigers22 5 years ago

    Eh. I really liked Poly but I think it was time to get Sizemore in here. The move to third also confuses me a little bit.

    • hoagiebuchanan 5 years ago

      i dont get it, it isnt not like its a new position for him…3/18 and the chance win something…its not that confusing

  4. Steve_in_MA 5 years ago

    Maybe I’m wrong, but doesn’t arbitration produce a non-guaranteed contract? I mean, you agree to $6MM and in late May decide to release the guy, and all it costs you is $2MM. Then he becomes a free agent. If I’m right, what was the downside to offering Polanco arbitration here?

    • bjsguess 5 years ago

      The downside is that it’s not so simple. There is only one player, that I can think, who was cut after accepting arbitration. There was a grievance filed and it turned quite nasty (think it was Todd Walker and the Padres but can’t remember for sure).

      Also, you can only cut a player before Spring Training concludes. Depending on when in Spring Training he is cut, the player is entitled to either 30 or 45 days of pay. Once the season starts you are on the hook for his entire contract.

      So, while it is technically possible it is not something that clubs would do. The headache of a grievance as well as the precedent it sets (bad faith on the part of the team management) is enough to discourage the practice except in the extreme cases.

      • rayking 5 years ago

        If the player is released at least 16 days prior to Opening Day, the team is responsible for 1/6 of the player’s salary; if the player is released between Opening Day and 16 days before Opening Day, the team is responsible for 1/4 of the player’s salary. Although, based on the Todd Walker grievance, it seems that the team also has to prove that the guy failed “to exhibit sufficient skill or competitive ability.”

  5. jwsox 5 years ago

    to the comment about utley not having the ability to move to 3rd you sir are highly mistaken. Utley more than likely didnt want to move to third or they have plans to move him to first and move Howard out of town.

    • alphabet_soup5 5 years ago

      I don’t really follow Utley but from what I hear he is a pretty good defender. Also the general consensus is he’s the best 2B in the game. I was just saying that was a possibility but it is more likely they respect him and the 2B position is his until he gives it up.

    • nyphilsfan 5 years ago

      Uh, no. They tried to move Utley to third when he was in the minors and Rolen was in town. He was brutal. Utley doesn’t have the arm for third base.

  6. athletic4ws 5 years ago

    I see more players accepting arb. when its offered in the coming years. Unless you are an elite player, the days of long term, big money contracts are over. Just ask Andy Laroche.

  7. athletic4ws 5 years ago

    or is it Adam. The one that ended up signing with the Giants.

    • alphabet_soup5 5 years ago

      Adam had a nice contract offer from the Giants, like 2 years/$18 mil or something, but he denied it and had to settle for a 1 year/$6 mil deal from the Diamondbacks later on. Not exactly sure about the money values but it gets the point across.

  8. JackPackage 5 years ago

    What I don’t understand is why the Phillies don’t get put in the worst off season signings sections on sports websites for signing a 34 year old 2B to an over payed 3 year contract and then asking him to play a position which he has little recent experience playing?

    It makes it especially odd considering what Adrian Beltre signed for, hell even what Chone Figgins signed for.

    You put Beltre(A right handed power hitter who is one of the top 3 defenders at his position) into that lienup and I think Philadelphia are a lock to at the very least win the NL for the next 2-3 years and this is a Mets fan talking.

    Hell I’d be able to laugh if it wasn’t for the fact the Mets just signed Jason Bay to what is essentially a 5 year $80 million contract… sigh.

    • nyphilsfan 5 years ago

      The Phillies offered a 3 year/24M contract to Beltre and he turned it down. Saying he signed for half the money of Polanco is just foolish. He gets $10M guaranteed (including 1m buyout for 2nd year player option) for one year.
      Figgins got 4 years/36M.
      Even if Polanco eventually becomes is super-sub in the 3rd or 4th (team has a club option), a player like that is a valuable asset to a winning team.
      Call it one of the worst signings of the year if you want. I just don’t think the risk outweighs the value they received. Jason Bay on the other hand…

    • They got a worst vote from me on this one, and I have been hearing plenty about it from Phillies fans. Sometimes the conversation is redirected though, as if I said Polanco was a bad player. I think he is a good player who was well overpaid, same with Lyon.

  9. nyphilsfan 5 years ago

    Before last year, he averaged 120 games per year for 6 straight years. For the Phillies, he is a back up expected to start about 35 games. He is a left handed hitting catcher and Ruiz is a right handed catcher. What don’t you get about this signing???

    Now, let’s take a look at the money that the Mets spent on Blanco, Barajas & Coste this off-season. Great pick-ups!

    Picking up Rollins option didn’t make sense to me either. But, the risk that he suffers a career ending injury next year is so slim, that I could care less about the move. Even if Rollins suffers a season ending injury this year, they still would have picked up the option. No matter what, Rollins is a gold glove ss with a lot of offensive tools to go with his few flaws.

  10. nyphilsfan 5 years ago

    Wow. Although I find your logic ludicrous. I feel sorry for you Mets fans, so I’ll let this one drop. I’ll just sit back and enjoy the season, like I have for the past 3 years.

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