The Tigers believe there’s a market for Armando Galarraga, the right-handed pitcher who agreed to a $2.3MM deal one day before getting designated for assignment. Since few viable free agent starters remain and a number of teams are looking for pitching, Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski says he’s 'confident' the team will be able to move Galarraga.
“It’s not like I have a for sure deal, but I do have enough clubs that have asked me about him,” Dombrowski said on a conference call with reporters.
If the Tigers demote Galarraga to the minor leagues, they’re responsible for his $2.3MM salary. If they release him, they’ll be responsible for part of his contract, depending on the date of his release and whether another club signs him.
The Tigers also announced their one-year deal with Brad Penny, the pitcher who ousted Galarraga from Detroit’s rotation. Penny missed the last four months of the 2010 season with a shoulder strain, but the Tigers have put him through physicals, examined MRIs and determined that the 32-year-old is in 'tremendous shape.'
“When Brad Penny is healthy, we think he’s a good pitcher,” Dombrowski said. “And we think he’s healthy.”
Though Dombrowski acknowledged that there’s always some risk involved when signing pitchers, he said Penny has the upside to be much more than a fifth starter.
“He does not have back of the rotation stuff,” Dombrowski said, before praising the right-hander’s mid-90s fastball, breaking ball and change-up.
Now that the Tigers have added the two-time All-Star to their rotation, Dombrowski says the team’s rotation projects to be better than it was a year ago. Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello are still developing, Justin Verlander is one of the best pitchers in the game and the Tigers believe in Phil Coke’s ability to transition to the rotation.
“We’re happy,” Dombrowski said of his team’s offseason. “I think a lot of clubs say that and I’ll be a lot happier if we’re playing late into October.”