Any lingering doubt about Armando Galarraga’s immediate future with the Tigers was quieted Thursday with the team’s decision to tender him a contract. It might take some work to avoid arbitration in this case — Galarraga can argue he pitched well enough to earn well more than the four wins he had this year, while the Tigers can point to his late-season struggles — but Galarraga will get a one-year contract. Team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said last week that the rotation appears set, and the Galarraga tender reinforces it.
A one-year deal with Galarraga might be the best scenario. It gives the Tigers some immediate certainty at the back end of their rotation, while also allowing them the longer-term flexibility to have a spot open for Andy Oliver down the road should the young left-hander develop. Team officials don’t believe Oliver is ready now, but they don’t see him being very far off. A multi-year deal for a free agent starter takes away that flexibility.
The Tigers might still look for some low-risk additions who could start and provide some camp competition, but right now, their starting pitching appears largely set.
– Jason Beck