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Detroit Tigers 2018 roster breakdown: Options, service time, and free agency

Your complete guide to the Tigers’ 40-man roster, with options, service time, and free agency details.

Detroit Tigersv Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

The Detroit Tigers 2018 roster will feature many players who were not on the team this time last season. 16 players who started the 2017 season on the Tigers’ 40 man roster are gone, including nine veteran players who had more than five years of major league experience. Only four veterans with that much service time will return for the 2018 season,

Players with at least five years of major league service time cannot be sent to the minors without their consent. The Tigers’ 2018 roster includes six more players who are out of minor league options. They are Dixon Machado, Mike Fiers, Leonys Martin, Matt Boyd, Drew VerHagen, and John Hicks. Those players would have to clear waivers before the club can send them to the minor leagues.

Here is the Tigers’ current 40-man roster, with each player’s service time and contract status entering the 2018 season.

Detroit Tigers 2018 payroll, options, service time, and contract status

Player MLB Service Options 2018 Salary Status
Player MLB Service Options 2018 Salary Status
Miguel Cabrera 14.100 --- $30 M FA 2023 ++
Victor Martinez 14.110 --- $24 M FA 2019
Jordan Zimmermann 8.150 --- $18 M FA 2021
Jose Iglesias 5.040 --- $6.275 M FA 2019
Francisco Liriano 11.100 --- $4.0 M FA 2019
Nick Castellanos 4.030 3 $6.05 M Arb 2nd
Mike Fiers 4.090 0 $6.0 M Arb 2nd
James McCann 3.030 3 $2.375 M Arb 1st
Shane Greene 3.080 1 $1.95 M Arb 1st
Alex Wilson 4.040 1 $1.925 M Arb 2nd
Leonys Martin 4.160 0 $1.75 M Arb 3 of 4
Blaine Hardy 2.130 1 $0.795 M Arb 1 of 4
Michael Fulmer 1.157 2 Minimum Arb 2019
Daniel Norris 2.070 1 Minimum Arb 2019
Matt Boyd 1.140 0 Minimum Arb 2019
Mike Mahtook 2.010 1 Minimum Arb 2019
Drew VerHagen 1.150 0 Minimum Arb 2019
Daniel Stumpf 1.160 2 Minimum Arb 2019
Buck Farmer 1.080 1 Minimum Arb 2020
John Hicks 1.000 0 Minimum Arb 2020
Warwick Saupold 1.040 1 Minimum Arb 2020
Dixon Machado 1.080 0 Minimum Arb 2020
Chad Bell 0.130 2 Minimum
Joe Jimenez 0.080 2 Minimum
Jeimer Candelario 0.060 1 Minimum
Artie Lewicki 0.030 3 Minimum
Johnny Barbato 0.110 1 Minimum
Jacoby Jones 0.130 2 Minimum
Zack Reinenger 0.040 3 Minimum
Sergio Alcantarra 0.000 3 Minimum
Sandy Baez 0.000 2 Minimum
Mike Gerber 0.000 3 Minimum
Grayson Greiner 0.000 3 Minimum
Ryan Carpenter 0.000 3 Minimum
Eduardo Jimenez 0.000 3 Minimum
Dawel Lugo 0.000 2 Minimum
Gerson Moreno 0.000 3 Minimum
Victor Reyes 0.000 3 Minimum
Gregory Soto 0.000 3 Minimum
Spencer Turnbull 0.000 3 Minimum

+ denotes a club option after the season indicated

Five veteran players have at least five years of major league service time, and they may not be sent to the minor leagues without their consent. They are Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Francisco Liriano, Jordan Zimmermann, and Jose Iglesias. These players are even more entrenched on the roster, since all but Iglesias have fully guaranteed contracts. Iglesias’ contract will become guaranteed if he is on the roster as of Opening Day. Additionally, as a Rule 5 selection, Victor Reyes can not be optioned without first clearing waivers.

If all of these players are on the Opening Day roster, that leaves 13 roster spots open. With a 12-man pitching staff, there would be room for seven more pitchers and six position players.

Players with less than five years of MLB service may be optioned to the minors in three separate seasons. A fourth option can be used within five full seasons of a player signing his first pro contract. This was the case with Jose Iglesias, Drew VerHagen, and Leonys Martin, and is the case with Buck Farmer this season.

28 of the players on the Tigers’ 40-man roster will be making close to the major league minimum salary of $545,000 for the 2018 season. 11 players on the roster have no major league experience at all, and six others have less than one season in the major leagues.

Tigers’ payroll is down from an all-time high of $200 million for the 25-man roster on Opening Day in 2017, to just under $112 million this season. For luxury tax purposes — which includes the average annual value of multi-year contracts, player benefits, salaries for departed players, and the full 40-man roster — the payroll comes to $135 million, or $59 million under the luxury tax threshold. Both totals include $14 million in payments for Justin Verlander and Prince Fielder.

After the 2018 season, the Tigers stand to shed an additional $28 million in payroll. Five more players will be eligible for arbitration, including pitchers Michael Fulmer, Daniel Norris, and Matt Boyd.

The roster has been gutted. Payroll has been slashed. Let the rebuild begin.