Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Tigers Sign Porcello; Are the Tigers the New Yankees?

The Detroit Tigers, nearing a Wednesday deadline to sign their draft picks before losing them forever to college (or next year's draft), are spending big to sign their top talent. Rick Porcello, who was considered the best right-handed pitching prospect in the draft, and a top five overall prospect, slid to the Tigers first-round spot in the late first round because of concerns about how much it would cost to sign him, if a team could come to an agreement with him and agent Scott Boras at all. The Detroit Tigers were unafraid, and Tuesday, they reportedly agreed to a deal with Porcello for either $7.3 million or $7.7 million guaranteed. Either way, it's a record breaking contract, the most money paid to a prep prospect ever (surpassing Josh Beckett's $7.0 million deal in 1999). Not only that, but the Tigers might also shell out seven-figure deals to both fifth round pick (pitcher) Casey Crosby and sixth-round pick (shortstop) Cale lorg.

Which leads to the question: Are the Detroit Tigers the new New York Yankees? Looks like it doesn't it? Justin Verlander, Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller, and now Porcello each received near-record breaking (or in Porcello's case, record-breaking) contracts, and each likely will make up the backbone of the Tigers future. Add that to the money spent on the likes of Pudge Rodriguez, Magglio Ordonez, and Gary Sheffield, and suddenly, the Tigers look like Major League Baseball's biggest spenders.

And whether they are the new Yankees or not, owner Mike Ilitch deserves praise for spending so much money on unproven talent. Justin Verlander has obviously paid off in spades, and Andrew Miller and Cameron Maybin both look like they were well worth the money too. It's obviously too early to say about Porcello, but from everything everyone says about Porcello he's just as talented, and just as gifted.

Mike Ilitch got a lot of heat during the 1990s and the start of this decade when he was not spending money, and the Tigers were the laughing stock of baseball. But, now, with a winning team, a dedicated fan base, and a general manager (Dave Dombrowski) who knows how to spend money wisely (when he gives a high school pitcher $7.5 million, you can bet he knows the guy brings the goods), Ilitch has been unafraid to spend big bucks. And thanks to that willingness to spend, the Tigers look to be in prime position to contend well into the next decade.

Now only if Porcello could come up tomorrow and replace Jason Grilli in the bullpen, we'd be all set.

Add To: Digg! Reddit Del.Icio.Us Stumble



© New Blogger Templates | Webtalks