The Tigers have not attended a salary arbitration hearing with one of their players for the past 16 years. That streak is in jeopardy, for now at least, as they were unable to come to terms with shortstop Jose Iglesias on a contract for the 2018 season. Detroit was able to come to terms with five of six arbitration eligible players, including four players on Friday afternoon.
Iglesias requested a salary of $6.8 million, while the Tigers offered him $5.6 million, according to the Detroit Free Press. The club’s offer is equal to the salary projected by MLTR’s Matt Swartz. If the two sides are unable to reach an agreement, an arbitration hearing will be held before a three member panel, who must then choose one number or the other. There is no middle ground for the panel to choose.
Nicholas Castellanos becomes the fourth highest paid Tiger on the roster after agreeing to a salary of $6.05 million, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network. In his second season of eligibility, Castellanos was projected by MLB Trade Rumors to receive a salary of $7.6 million. He will be eligible for arbitration one more time in 2019 before being eligible for free agency.
Castellanos is coming off a breakout season where he blasted 26 home runs and led the club with 101 RBI. He has one year less service time than Iglesias, who will be eligible for free agency at the end of the 2018 season.
Earlier, the Tigers came to terms with closer Shane Greene on a salary of $1.95 million, with reliever Alex Wilson for $1.925 million, and catcher James McCann for $2.375 million. The club reached agreement with relief pitcher Blaine Hardy in November on a salary of $795,000. All contracts are for one season and are not fully guaranteed if they are released before Opening Day.
Arbitration hearings will be scheduled between January 29 and February 21. Pitchers and catchers tend to be scheduled earlier in the process as their reporting date for spring training is earlier.