Tigers, Joel Zumaya Avoid Arbitration

The Tigers agreed to a one-year deal with Joel Zumaya, avoiding arbitration, the team announced. Zumaya will earn $1.4MM in 2011, according to Tom Gage of the Detroit News (via Twitter). Zumaya, eligible for the third and final time, earned $915K last year.

Zumaya has an electrifying fastball and as many strikeouts (210) as innings pitched (209 2/3) in his career. In fact, the hard-throwing right-hander has the highest strikeout rate among all Tigers relievers with at least 100 appearances since the start of the 1953 season.

But Zumaya has had trouble staying healthy. Hand, shoulder and elbow injuries have limited him to 60 appearances in the past two seasons. He was effective when he pitched in 2010, posting a 2.58 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in 38 1/3 innings.

As MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows, Armando Galarraga is the Tigers' lone unsigned arbitration eligible player now that Zumaya and Ryan Raburn have agreed to deals. Raburn and the Tigers agreed to a two-year deal this week.


26 Responses to Tigers, Joel Zumaya Avoid Arbitration Leave a Reply

  1. TartanElk 4 years ago

    And then there’s Armando…

    • ToledoFan 4 years ago

      He would make an excellent swing man out of the bullpen. He typically is quite effective for 3 innings, then he gets lit up the 2nd and 3rd time though the batting order. If they can sign him to a 1 year deal under 2 million, i think its a good deal. He provides insurance in case Coke or Penny don’t pan out.

      • Agree. Jason Beck makes the point that Armando would be over paid for a long reliever, but it’s that depth that is his real value. With Penny’s health history and Coke’s total lack of a track record in his new role, Armando is a nice depth piece- provided that he can make the mental adjustment to the role. If not him, then another veteran SP is needed for depth.

    • ToledoFan 4 years ago

      He would make an excellent swing man out of the bullpen. He typically is quite effective for 3 innings, then he gets lit up the 2nd and 3rd time though the batting order. If they can sign him to a 1 year deal under 2 million, i think its a good deal. He provides insurance in case Coke or Penny don’t pan out.

  2. ToledoFan 4 years ago

    This is a big year for Zumaya. He HAS to show he can stay healthy for a full season or he will not likely be back with the Tigers. I’m sure he will land a major or minor league deal with someone if the Tigers don;t bring him back next year, but his history of injury doesn’t bode well for him.

    • RestoreTheRoar 4 years ago

      I do feel he was on the right track last year…walks were good, K’s were good, throwing a little slower for better control- but that injury happened.

      Its easy to say he cant stay healthy, but all of his injuries have been freakish. Shoulder from the boxes (atv?), finger from holding the ball too hard, and lastly- BREAKING OFF HIS ELBOW?? That was the first time its ever happened to a pitcher. Cant get any freakier than that.

      I imagine he’ll do everything possible to avoid hitting the DL again. Tigers probably wont give him another chance after this year if he doesnt make a good case for himself.

      • tiger313 4 years ago

        maybe he needs to go see a witch doctor or a voodoo specialist to lift the curse he has on him.

      • tiger313 4 years ago

        maybe he needs to go see a witch doctor or a voodoo specialist to lift the curse he has on him.

      • fpz 4 years ago

        I say the Guitar Hero injury was funny as well.

        • RestoreTheRoar 4 years ago

          Damn I forgot about that one. He’s like Sam Jackson from Unbreakable.

      • fpz 4 years ago

        I say the Guitar Hero injury was funny as well.

    • TheBigNice 4 years ago

      I would hope that Leyland has learned to use Zumaya more carefully. He and Benoit shouldn’t log more that 60 innings or their arms may quit and run away. And Ragga… 2 million is an awful lot for a swingman, but I don’t see him being released. I’m sure he’ll get his starts this year in one way or another.

  3. TheBigNice 4 years ago

    I wonder if he could add another pitch to ease the strain on his body. I read yesterday that Hoffman began using his changeup a lot more after injuring his throwing shoulder. I know it’s not easy to do, but imagine a good change setting up that ridiculous fastball… is a changeup grip tough on the arm???

    • Chrisn313 4 years ago

      Not at all, same as a fastball but the difference is in the hand. Easier said than done, and a 90 mile an hour changeup is funny to think about. Never a bad thing to develop, but if he could get better with his Charlie I think it would serve a similar purpose. Good point and idea though, hope he gives it a shot.

  4. HerbertAnchovy 4 years ago

    It still pains me to think about his arm and the look on his face after that injury last year.

  5. Wek 4 years ago

    I don’t get why teams are avoiding arbitration with injured players. Does anyone expect Zumaya to win with his record? I mean, will Zumaya really get over 1.2mil by going through arbitration? The guy can barely stay healthy yet he gets 1.4mil for half the work he’s suppose to do.

    • tiger313 4 years ago

      he made 945k last year, and correct me if im wrong you can only make more through arb, so 1.4 is reasonable, it doesnt hurt illitch in any way. and when he is healthy he is nasty. you can blame him for his freak accidents.

      • theroundsquare 4 years ago

        I think you can make less but the reduction cannot be more than 20%, such that an arbitration award must be at least 80% of the previous year’s salary.

      • Wek 4 years ago

        I think theroundsquare is right. 80% of your previous salary is the minimum. But I was not really talking about giving Zumaya a paycut. His $1.4mil salary seems to be excessive for the performance he provided last year. Something in the range between $1.0-1.2mil seems more than fair for what he’s expected to give the Tigers in 2011, half a season (he has not pitched more than 40IP since 2006).

  6. theroundsquare 4 years ago

    Can’t wait to hear what Dave Cameron at Fangraphs has to say about this one . . .

  7. disgustedcubfan 4 years ago

    Is Zumaya expected to be 100% by opening day?

  8. snapcase8p 4 years ago

    So with Vlad still on the market I’m wondering if we should take a 5M flyer on him. I’m all for giving Avila a shot but sliding VMart to catcher and having Vlad DH for one year couldn’t hurt. Just a thought. Personally I don’t want to see VMart catching but Vlad could be an interesting option for one year.

    1) Jax CF
    2) Guillen/Rhymes 2B
    3) Maggs RF
    4) MCab 1B
    5) VMart C
    6) Vlad DH
    7) Raburn LF
    8) Peralta SS
    9) Inge 3B

  9. frede1 4 years ago

    How do”s this line-up look 1. Jackson 2. Jackson 3. Jackson
    Rymes Rymes Rymes
    Peralta Boesch,Rayburn Inge
    Magglio Magglio Magglio
    Cabrera Cabrera Cabrera
    V-mart V-mart V-mart
    Boesch,Rayburn Rymes Peralta
    Inge Inge Boesch,Rayburn
    Avila Avila Avila
    Which line-up is better, of course there are others, hears a few. I also heard that albert Pujols is gonna hold out, He wants to move north, to the motor city tigers.

    • frede1 4 years ago

      Sorry about the line-up,the number 1, 2, 3, rows didnt line-up.

  10. Good deal all around. High ceiling and small risk.

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