The Tigers have settled their biggest arbitration case of the offseason by signing starting pitcher David Price to a one-year, $19.75 million contract for the 2015 season. The agreed salary is higher than the $18.9 million projected by MLB Trade Rumors, and is a record for a one-year contract for a player not yet eligible for free agency. Price's deal shattered the previous record set when Max Scherzer signed for $15.525 million prior to the 2014 season.
The Tigers also came to terms with starting pitcher Alfredo Simon, who will receive $ 5.55 million for the 2015 season. Simon is in his final season of arbitration eligibility and is due to become a free agent in October. He earned $1.5 million in 2014, which was based on his work as a relief pitcher. Simon was projected to receive $5.1 million by MLB Trade Rumors.
The club has also agreed to terms with outfielder J.D. Martinez on a one-year contract. Terms are not yet available. The projected salary for Martinez is $2.9 million.
Update: Jason Beck has confirmed that Martinez will receive $3 million.
Al Alburquerque has not reached a settlement yet. He filed a request of $2.05 million, while the Tigers' offer is $1.35 million. MLB Trade Rumors projects a salary of $1.7 million. Alburquerque is in his second season of eligibility after being Super Two eligible, receiving $837,500 in 2014.
The salary agreements reached today could push the club over the luxury tax limit, depending on what other moves are made by the end of the season. Our summary payroll estimate of for 2015 showed the club at $170.05 million for the 25-man roster. The total of the three salaries in settlements reached is a net $ 1.4 million above projections. Tom Gorzelanny, who is reported to earn about $1 million, will also increase the prior estimate by $ 500,000.
After figuring in the team's share of player benefits, using the average annual value of multi-year contracts, rounding out the roster with players earning near the major league minimum salary, and including 15 more players on the 40-man roster, the team is right on the cusp of the $189 million luxury tax threshold.
CBS Sports' Jon Heyman confirmed via Twitter that the Tigers have settled with Alburquerque as of Saturday, January 24. The right-handed reliever will receive $1.725 million for 2015 , which includes incentives for $12,500 after Alburquerque reaches 75 appearances in the season.
With Alburquerque's case settled, the Tigers have closed the book on another offseason, having avoided arbitration hearings for the twelfth consecutive year. No member of the Tigers has gone to an arbitration hearing for the duration of Dombrowski's tenure when he took over the club in 2002.