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News » Detroit Tigers Inside Pitch 2008-12-30

Detroit Tigers Inside Pitch 2008-12-30

Detroit Tigers Inside Pitch 2008-12-30
Maybe they knew it was coming.

Still, it had to be a poke in the ribs when the Tigers got the news last week they were being socked for $1.3 million worth of luxury tax by the commissioner's office for being over the salary limit. It's a tough little price to pay for being last in your division.

Detroit was one of only two teams in baseball that were hit with the penalty.

Would that have affected the organization's decision to keep payroll for 2009 at roughly the same level it was in 2008?

Probably not, because the economy is a much bigger factor for Detroit, and much of the money the Tigers are laying out for the coming season was already built in through contractual obligations. But it might have been a consideration.

The Tigers have already shown that the economy played a part in setting their 2009 budget with their decision to stay out of any bidding contests for top-tier free agents. It continues to play a part in their lack of energy in obtaining badly needed help for one of the worst bullpens in baseball.

There's no question general manager Dave Dombrowski will have the Tigers enter 2009 with a made-over bullpen. But it's equally clear he's taking a big gamble by trying to do it on the cheap.

The market will settle out once the New Year comes and free agents scramble to find landing places for the next season. That's when Dombrowski can be expected to make his next moves, through trades or by going through the leftover bin in search of moderately priced bargains.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: December 30, 2008

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