The Tigers‘ signing of Victor Martinez to a four-year, $68MM contract last offseason was a decision that was largely driven by owner Mike Ilitch rather than former GM Dave Dombrowski, per Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Dombrowski wasn’t in favor of such a lofty number for the aging DH. Heyman adds that the Mariners were outbid on Martinez, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Seattle was comfortable going to three years and $45MM for V-Mart but turned its focus to Nelson Cruz after Martinez returned to the Tigers. While it’s unlikely that Cruz’s production will hold up to its current level through the final year of his four-year, $57MM deal, he was brilliant in his first season with the Mariners.
A few more notes from around the American League…
- The Orioles will “at least kick the tires” on Ben Zobrist this winter, reports Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com, although I’d imagine they’ll be joined by about 20 teams in that pursuit. Nonetheless, Kubatko notes that manager Buck Showalter has long admired Zobrist’s versatility and would love to add him to the fold, and he has fans in the front office as well. The Orioles could find plenty of playing time for Zobrist in the corner outfield.
- Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun writes that the Orioles will probably look to add a left-handed starter, if not two, to the mix this winter. Baltimore stands to lose Wei-Yin Chen and has no lefty replacements in the waiting, save for perhaps T.J. McFarland, who has made only seven starts (five in the minors and two in the Majors) since 2012. Connolly adds that while there’s interest in retaining Chen, the Orioles aren’t likely to retain him if he receives a five-year offer elsewhere.
- The Mariners interviewed Padres bench coach Dave Roberts for their managerial opening, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Roberts received a pair of interviews and was considered a finalist for the job. However, Angels AGM Scott Servais will reportedly be announced as Seattle’s new skipper later today. Rosenthal adds that Roberts could be a fit for the Dodgers, though that suggestion seems at least partially speculative in nature.
- The Athletics announced on Thursday that lefty Drew Pomeranz underwent clavicle resection surgery, as MLB.com’s Jane Lee writes. The recovery timetable for Pomeranz is set for roughly six weeks, and he’s expected to be ready for Spring Training. As Lee notes, Pomeranz pitched through shoulder troubles for much of the season, and this operation will hopefully alleviate those woes next year. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projects a $1.3MM salary for Pomeranz in his first run through the arbitration process.