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Nick Castellanos, Jose Iglesias among 6 Tigers eligible for arbitration

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Justin Wilson, Alex Wilson, Bruce Rondon, and Andrew Romine are also eligible to file for arbitration.

Detroit Tigers v Boston Red Sox Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

January 10 is the official deadline for arbitration-eligible players to file their arbitration requests for the 2017 season. The Detroit Tigers have six players eligible for arbitration this winter: Jose Iglesias, Andrew Romine, and Justin Wilson are eligible for the second time, while Nick Castellanos, Bruce Rondon, and Alex Wilson are eligible for the first time in their respective careers. Salary figures will be exchanged by Friday, January 13, and contracts are often signed quickly thereafter.

If no agreement is reached between the players and the team, a hearing will be scheduled between Feb. 1-21. This hearing is before a panel of three arbitrators who will award either the player's proposal or the team's salary figure for a one-year contract. The arbitrators may not award a different salary, and the salary given is always for one season.

Players are eligible for arbitration based strictly on major league service time. A player with two years and 131 days on the major league roster (including time on the disabled list) is eligible for arbitration unless he has a previously signed contract. The Tigers have no players eligible as "Super Two" players this year. For the first two seasons in the major leagues, most players earn near the minimum salary of $535,000 per season.

How much will the Tigers' arbitration eligible players earn? Matt Swartz provides an annual arbitration forecast, which is published by MLB Trade Rumors. His projections have been very accurate and are the ones most often cited when making payroll estimates. Here are his arbitration projections for the Tigers.

Player Projected salary Service time (Years/Days)
Player Projected salary Service time (Years/Days)
Andrew Romine $1.2 million 4.049
Jose Iglesias $3.2 million 4.036
Justin Wilson $2.7 million 4.035
Alex Wilson $1.2 million 3.038
Bruce Rondon $900,000 3.037
Nick Castellanos $2.8 million 3.029

Those six players are projected to earn a total of $3.9 million more than they did in 2016. Each of the Tigers' players eligible this season will again be eligible in 2018, unless they are signed to a contract extension before then. They could be joined by Anthony Gose, James McCann, Blaine Hardy, and Shane Greene next year, provided these players remain in the major leagues throughout the 2017 season.

The primary factors considered by an arbitration panel are the player’s salary history, the amount of service time, the number of games or innings that the player has played and comparable salaries for players at the same position with similar criteria. An award such as an All-Star selection, a Gold Glove, or Silver Slugger is also considered.

A club can still release a player if they settle on a non-guaranteed (arbitration) contract prior to the season. If a player is released at least 16 days prior to Opening Day, the club will owe the player one-sixth of his salary for the season. If released prior to Opening Day but within 15 days of Opening Day, he must be paid one-quarter of his annual salary.

J.D. Martinez would have been eligible for arbitration for a third and final season, but the Tigers came to terms with him on a two-year contract while avoiding arbitration prior to the 2016 season. Anthony Gose would have been eligible if he had spent the second half of the season in the major leagues in 2016.

The vast majority of players who are eligible for arbitration reach a settlement with their clubs prior to the case going for a hearing. The Tigers managed to avoid any arbitration hearings every season under former general manager Dave Dombrowski, and Al Avila managed to keep that streak intact last year.