Detroit Tigers second baseman Placido Polanco heads back to the dugout after pre-game warmups during a game in August. Polanco signed a three-year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday. (Brian Calloway photo)

The Placido Polanco era in Detroit officially came to a halt when the Tigers decided not to offer him salary arbitration on Tuesday and with him inking a three-year with the Philadelphia Phillies today.

In my opinion, it was a smart move by the Tigers to part ways with him. With so many bad contracts (I.e. Dontrelle Willis, Nate Robertson, Magglio Ordonez, etc.) on the team, there is no way they could risk Polanco accepting arbitration or really afford to give him a three-year $18 million deal like the Phillies did. Polanco is also 34, and we’ve all seen how some others on the Tigers have started to perform now that they are approaching the end of their careers (Ordonez, Carlos Guillen).

And if the Tigers feel that Scott Sizemore is in fact ready, why not save money at that position. Especially with rumors swirling that Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson could be on the move to save money, having Sizemore as the second baseman makes sense instead of paying to keep Polanco.

While the Tigers had to make the move to part ways with Polanco, I’m still a little sad to see him go. He was a valuable performer for the Tigers and one of the better moves Dave Dombrowski has made during his tenure as Detroit’s general manager.

Detroit acquired Polanco in 2005 from the Phillies in a deal in which the Tigers sent relief pitcher Ugueth Urbina to Philadelphia. Polanco was strong for four-plus seasons with the Tigers and even won a Gold Glove in 2007 and 2009. He also was the MVP during the ALCS and helped the Tigers reach the World Series in 2006. He seemed to be the ultimate professional and was probably one of the best clutch hitters the Tigers had.

His .285 average this season was his worst in a full season as a Tiger and he struck out a career high 46 times this year. On the flip side he drove in a career high 72 runs this season. I will miss Polanco for what he provided the Tigers but I think its time  to see what Sizemore can offer.

From seeing Sizemore play several times this summer in Toledo, I think he can be a good offensive player. The defense remains to be seen but I think he will do all right and I hope the move pans out. Last season between stints at Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo, Sizemore hit .308 with 39 doubles, five triples and 17 homers and 21 stolen bases in 25 attempts. He had 95 strikeouts.

Sizemore hit .308 at Toledo in 71 games and had the 22 doubles. He was one of the Tigers delegates to the Arizona Fall League and hit .368 in six games before going down with an injury. According to a Detroit Free Press report today his fracture left ankle is getting better and he could be off crutches soon.

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