The Tigers have zero interest in Edgar Renteria. This was clear back in October, when the team declined his $12 million option for 2009, and it was reinforced last night when the team declined to offer arbitration by the midnight deadline.
Had Renteria accepted, he likely would have been awarded a salary on par with last year's $9 million, which the Tigers deemed excessive given his disappointing performance both at the plate (he posted an 84 OPS+) and on the field (his .810 zone rating was among the lowest by starting major league shortstops).
But had Renteria declined and accepted a contract elsewhere, the Tigers would have been awarded a pair of draft picks as compensation. Even though the Tigers would prefer to go in a different direction, I think they should have rolled the dice and made the offer. If you believe the rumor mill, he's already agreed to a two-year deal with the Giants.
Granted, the Giants disputed that report, but my guess is that they were bluffing in hopes that the Tigers would refuse to offer. (After squandering draft picks in recent years by signing Omar Vizquel and Michael Tucker before the deadline, you have to figure Brian Sabean would learn from his mistakes sooner or later, right?)
Either way, Renteria's departure cements last winter's trade with the Braves as one of the worst in franchise history. Ian Casselberry from Bless You Boys explains:
The most vexing thing about this whole situation, of course, is that this now means that Jair Jurrjens and Gorkys Hernandez were traded for one sub-par season from Renteria. A starting pitcher who surely could've helped the Tigers last season and for years to come (though I wonder if Armando Galarraga negates that loss), and a center fielder who could've instead been traded for pitching help were both squandered. Dombrowski took a huge risk, and when the end result wasn't a World Series championship, it blew up right in his face.
You can't hit a home run without swinging the bat, but there's no doubt that Dave Dombrowski struck out on this one.