As the Detroit Tigers move toward becoming more fresh-faced and tightening their belts amid the rebuild, one of the major questions for those watching the team is: where will the club willingly spend money next season? There is certainly room to add a few low-cost veteran free agents, but it’s important to focus on the current roster as well.
Going into the 2018 offseason, there are 11 Tigers players who will have arbitration eligibility; they have accumulated more than two years of MLB service time, but fewer than six. This puts them in a position to negotiate their annual pay with the club. It’s often a time where teams can work out longer-term deals to lock down eligible players before they reach free agency, but it is also a time clubs might consider parting ways with players.
With the Tigers’ future uncertain, it’s hard to know how they will value the players currently on the roster — especially catcher James McCann — and who will be a shoe-in to stick around next year.
MLB Trade Rumors’ Matt Swatz does an annual projection of the upcoming arbitration salaries, and this was what he came up with for the 11 eligible Tigers:
- Nicholas Castellanos — $11.3 million
- Shane Greene — $4.8 million
- James McCann — $3.5 million
- Michael Fulmer — $3.0 million
- Matthew Boyd — $3.0 million
- Alex Wilson — $2.8 million
- Daniel Norris — $1.4 million
- Blaine Hardy — $1.2 million
- Louis Coleman — $1.1 million
- Drew VerHagen — $900,000
- Pete Kozma — $700,000
Several of the names above will most likely be back in Tigers uniforms next season, with agreements being reached ahead of the mid-January arbitration deadline. But don’t be surprised if the Tigers don’t agree to terms with some of them. We’ll go a bit more in-depth on the arbitration process and who is likely to stick around as we get deeper into the offseason.