November 23, 2010
The $26 million of combined salaries between Magglio Ordonez(notes) and Johnny Damon(notes) may be coming off their books, but the Detroit Tigers aren't wasting any time in redistributing some of their savings.
As first reported by ESPN Deportes' Ignacio Serrano and confirmed by others, the Tigers have signed catcher Victor Martinez(notes) to a four-year deal worth $50 million. It's the second big free-agent acquisition that GM Dave Dombrowski has made this offseason after signing reliever Joaquin Benoit(notes) to a three-year deal worth $16.5 million last week.
Martinez, of course, is a four-time All-Star who hit .302/.351/.493 with 20 homers and 79 RBIs for the Boston Red Sox in 2010. He'll bring a lot of offensive value behind the plate at Comerica Park, though his age (32) and defensive abilities introduce some risk into the deal.
Still, he can play first base when Miguel Cabrera(notes) needs a day off and there's always the DH spot. In an AL Central that might not feature a lot of other big-name free-agent acquisitions, Tigers fans have to be pleased with Dombrowski's aggressive break from the offseason gate.