Shortly after the season ended, the Tigers declined Edgar Renteria's option, but kept open the possibility of bringing him back at a lower price. In all likelihood, the Tigers viewed Renteria as a potential option further down the list should other priorities not pan out.
On Monday, the final day to offer free agents arbitration, the Tigers had a choice to make: offer arbitration, and enable the Tigers to receive draft pick compensation should he sign elsewhere (and potentially have him accept and the Tigers likely be on the hook for approximately the $9 million they already declined); or not offer arbitration, and ensure they'll be able to choose where their limited resources this offseason are spent.
They chose the latter.
In not offering arbitration, the Tigers could still potentially resign Renteria - it simply means that if he signs elsewhere, the Tigers won't receive draft picks in return. Without the draft pick hook now on him, it will likely be easier for Renteria to sign elsewhere, as a team knows it won't have to forfeit a high draft pick just to sign him.
The move is likely the final one in a trade for Renteria that has been viewed largely as a poor one, with Renteria delivering very disappointing results for the club. For the season, he hit .270 with 10 home runs, 55 RBI and a .699 OPS, and delivering nowhere near the Gold Glove defense the Tigers were expecting.