Tigers avoid arbitration, Phil Coke agrees to one-year deal

USA TODAY Sports

Tigers fan's favorite left-handed reliever has come to terms with the team.

With all the news surrounding the blockbuster trade of Prince Fielder for Ian Kinsler, this morning the Detroit Tigers tweeted some under the radar news. Phil Coke was thought to be a non-tender candidate, but the veteran left-handed reliever will remain a Tiger.

No financial terms were announced. Coke made $1.85 million in 2013.

The Tigers are in need of left-handed relief, so re-signing Coke shouldn't be much of a surprise even if he's coming off a bad season which included a trip to Triple-A Toledo. The Tigers need bullpen arms and the team may still see something in Coke.

This deal doesn't mean he'll be on the roster come April. The Tigers could still trade the 31-year-old lefty, or cut bait in spring training. They would only be on the hook for a fraction of his contract if cut in camp, much like Brennan Boesch last season.

Entering 2013 as part of the closer equation, Coke ended the year used strictly as a left-handed specialist. How bad was Coke last season? Really bad. In 49 games, the opposition hit .290/.370/.809. He was ineffective against both right handers, who hit .282/.395/.465, and left-handers, who hit .299/.345/.416.

On a positive note, one person was ecstatic over the return of finger-pointing Phil Coke!

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