The Tigers ended any speculation about not tendering a contract to any of their nine arbitration eligible players by signing Don Kelly to a one year contract with a salary of $1 million for the 2014 season. As we have pointed out previously, these contracts are not guaranteed, so the club could release Kelly in mid March, as they did with Brennan Boesch last spring, and they'd be on the hook for just one sixth of his contract, or $166,667.
Kelly made 251 plate appearances for the Tigers in 2013, hitting .222/.309/.343, a .652 OPS with six home runs, playing the corner outfield and infield positions. For his career, Kelly has just over 1,000 plate appearances, batting .229/.290/.344, a .634 OPS with 23 homers and 88 RBI. Former Tiger manager Jim Leyland always valued Kelly for his versatility.
Kelly will go to spring training as a member of the 40 man roster. He is out of options and can not be sent to the minors without his consent.
The Tigers signed non tender candidate Phil Coke to a one year, $ 1.9 million contract last week, and are also expected to tender contracts to the other seven arbitration eligible players before tonight's midnight deadline.