Armando Galarraga will best be known for his imperfect game on June 2nd where he “retired” twenty-eight consecutive Cleveland Indians, but just six months later Galarraga is the odd man out in the Detroit Tigers rotation as the team signed Brad Penny to a one-year, $3 million contract.
The Tigers rotation is set with Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, and Rick Porcello, likely followed by Penny. This leaves the fifth and final spot of the rotation open to Galarraga or Phil Coke. Unfortunately for Galarraga fans, Coke is the lone left-handed starter the Tigers have on their staff and it would make more sense to give him the job because Detroit has been without a reliable left-handed starter for longer than they’d like to admit…sorry Dontrelle Willis.
Galarraga will be facing an arbitration case in February, but with no place for him in the starting rotation, he will either be subjected to the bullpen or be cut, making him available to other teams.The Washington Nationals are one of the teams who may show serious interest in Galarraga. In 2010, the right-handers line looked like this, 4-9, 4.49 ERA, 74 K, 51 BB, and a 1.34 WHIP. Not the most impressive numbers, and that’s including the imperfect game. If a deal was to get done, Washington should hope for a mid-March release by the Tigers so he can sign with the Nats and hopefully make the rotation in time for Opening Day.
Galarraga likely won’t earn the $3 million that Jeff Francis is looking for, so it is unrealistic to compare the two. Brandon Webb set the bar high with his one-year, $3 million deal with the Texas Rangers, which set the table for what Francis is looking for.
The Nationals continue to look for more starting pitching, so why not Galarraga? He would be a cheap option that could turn out to be a pleasant surprise. What do you have to lose?