Martinez will seek second opinion on knee injury

The Sports Xchange
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--DH Victor Martinez was scheduled for a second opinion on his injured left knee, but Detroit was expecting confirmation of the original diagnosis Jan. 16 that he needs ACL surgery that effectively would end his season before it began. "It happened during agility drills," Tigers' trainer Kevin Rand said. "He was making a lateral move. His right foot slipped and all his weight came down on his left knee." Rand said a timetable for recovery would be set following the results of the surgery. "As you've seen with others players of a similar age, they've all recovered and done fairly well," Rand said. Martinez batted .330 with 40 doubles, 12 home runs and 103 RBI in 145 games for Detroit after signing with the Tigers as a free agent.

--RHP Max Scherzer avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract worth a reported $3.75 million plus, unspecified incentives. Scherzer earned $600,000 last season, his first following the expiration of the original contract he signed as a first-round draft pick. He went 15-9 with a 4.43 ERA in 33 starts for Detroit. In two seasons with the Tigers, Scherzer is 27-20 with a 3.96 ERA and 358 strikeouts in 64 starts.

--LF Delmon Young agreed to a $6.75 million contract, avoiding arbitration. Young, obtained from Minnesota last Aug. 15, earned $5.375 from the Twins and Tigers a year ago. He hit .274 with five doubles, a triple, eight home runs and 32 RBI in 40 games with the Tigers, then added five home runs in nine post-season games with Detroit to tie the club mark for post-season home runs. Young can become a free agent following the season.

--RHP Rick Porcello agreed to a $3.1 million salary as a "Super Two" arbitration-eligible player after turning down an option calling for $1.344 million. Porcello posted his second straight 14-9 record but his ERA rose to 4.75 last season. "No doubt, (winning) is something I need to get better at, and there's no reason I can't get better at that fairly quickly," Porcello said. "The biggest thing for me is, on days when I don't have my best stuff, to step back and take a deep breath and work through hitters and keep our team in game and pitch as deep into the game as I can. That separates the great pitchers from the good ones, being able to compete even when you don't have your best stuff."

--LHP Phil Coke agreed to a contract worth $1.1 million plus incentives as Detroit avoided arbitration with all five of its eligible players. General manager Dave Dombrowski has not completed the process with any player since taking over in 2002. Coke, who pitched for $440,000 last year, can add $50,000 to his pay based on incentives for appearances. He was 3-9 with a 4.47 ERA in 45 appearances, 14 of them starts before he was returned to the bullpen in June. He was 2-2 with a 3.71 ERA in 34 relief appearances.

--UT Don Kelly got a salary bump to $900,000 as one of five arbitration-eligible Detroit players to sign before completing the process. Kelly was a minimum wage player in his second full major league season. He played in 113 games in 2011, batting .245 with seven home runs and 28 RBI. He played seven positions for the Tigers -- pitcher (one game), catcher (one game), first base (15 games), third base (45 games), left field (17 games), center field (four games) and right field (39 games). His turns pitching and catching gave him career appearances at all nine positions.

BY THE NUMBERS
10 -- Seasons without a Detroit player completing the arbitration process since Dave Dombrowski took over as President/CEO/GM in 2002. Dombrowski had five players eligible this winter and signed them all before the deadline for exchanging figures.

QUOTE TO NOTE
"I've received numerous phone calls from agents within the last hour trying to place players." -- Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski, on the immediate reaction to the news his DH Victor Martinez was likely lost for the season to a torn left ACL.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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