DETROIT — The Tigers can cross another item off of their to-do list. On Monday, the Tigers announced that they had exercised their option on catcher Alex Avila for the 2015 season. The team had until November 20 to exercise the $5.4 million option amid rumors that he was being reportedly shopped around for trade.
Defensively, Avila had one of the best seasons of his career, being a finalist for the 2014 American League Gold Glove awards. He finished with a .995 fielding percentage and had 36 runners caught stealing for a 34 percent rate, the highest of his major league career.
Avila was also tagged to 23 wild pitches, his lowest of his career by eight (he had 31 in 2012), dating back to his rookie season in 2009 when he was tagged with five. He also allowed a career-low three passed balls.
Throughout the season Avila's health came into question, as he suffered multiple concussions. Rumors that he might be traded by the Tigers circulated around his health to that end. However, Tigers president and GM, Dave Dombrowski, would not confirm those reports.
"I wouldn’t get into any individual discussions," Dombrowski said on Friday. "I would say that when you’re at the General Managers meetings, I was probably asked about every player just about that we have, at one time or another."
The 27-year-old catcher batted .218 with 44 runs scored, 22 doubles, 11 home runs and 47 RBI in 124 games for the Tigers in 2014. During his six years with the Tigers, Avila holds a .247 batting average with 225 runs scored, 106 doubles, seven triples, 62 home runs and 269 RBI in 616 games.