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Tigers 2020 roster details: options, service time, payroll, and more

The Tigers have a $100 million payroll for their 26-man roster, barring any late additions.

MLB: MAY 16 Twins at Tigers Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Detroit Tigers will enter the 2020 baseball season with a payroll of about $100 million for their 26-man active roster, barring any late additions or trades. The Tigers’ 40-man roster features 10 players with no major league experience and another 11 players with less than one season of experience in the majors.

Detroit certainly could add players and boost the payroll some before Opening Day as general Al Avila scours the free agent market for veteran players who have fallen through the cracks. They recently added righthander Iván Nova, and could spring for some outfield or bullpen help. But as it stands, the Tigers’ current payroll is about $14 million lower than it was on Opening Day in 2019.

Here is a look at the Tigers’ 40 man roster for 2020.

Detroit Tigers 2020 Roster

Player MLB Service Options left Salary/ Prorated 2021 Status
Player MLB Service Options left Salary/ Prorated 2021 Status
Miguel Cabrera 16.101 N/A $30M/ 11.1M FA 2024++
Jordan Zimmermann 10.154 N/A $25M/ 9.25M FA/ IL
Jonathan Schoop 6.027 N/A $6.1M/ 2.26M FA
C.J. Cron 5.097 N/A $6.1M/ 2.26M FA
Matthew Boyd 3.136 0/3 $5.3M/ 1.96M Arb 3 of 4
Austin Romine 6.045 N/A $4.15M/ 1.54M FA
Daniel Norris 4.073 1 / 3 $2.96M/ 1.1M Arb 3 of 3
Michael Fulmer 3.157 2 / 3 $2.08M/ 1.04M Arb 3 of 4
JaCoby Jones 2.125 2 / 3 $1.575M/ 582K Arb 2 of 4
Cameron Maybin 10.059 N/A $1.5M/ 555K FA
Ivan Nova 9.024 N/A $1.5M/ 555K FA
Jordy Mercer 7.095 N/A $1.5M/ 555K FA
Buck Farmer 3.083 0 / 3 $1.15M/ 426K Arb 2 of 3
Niko Goodrum 2.031 3 / 3 $698K/ 258K Arb 2021
Joe Jimenez 2.077 1 / 3 Minimum Arb 2021
Jeimer Candelario 2.038 0 / 3 Minimum Arb 2021
Jose Cisnero 2.012 1 / 3 Minimum Arb 2021
Grayson Greiner 1.102 1 / 3 Minimum
Victor Reyes 1.084 2 / 3 Minimum
Carson Fulmer 1.040 0 / 3 Minimum
Christin Stewart 1.022 2 / 3 Minimum
Spencer Turnbull 1.020 3 / 3 Minimum
Harold Castro 0.141 2 / 3 Minimum
Dawel Lugo 0.130 0 / 3 Minimum
Gregory Soto 0.102 1 / 3 Minimum
Dario Agrazal 0.076 1 / 3 Minimum
Tyler Alexander 0.058 2 / 3 Minimum
John Schreiber 0.035 3 / 3 Minimum
Bryan Garcia 0.029 3 / 3 Minimum
Rony Garcia 0.000 3 / 3 Minimum
Kyle Funkhouser 0.000 3 / 3 Minimum
Beau Burrows 0.000 3 / 3 Minimum
David McKay 0.071 2 / 3 Minimum
Travis Demeritte 0.060 3 / 3 Minimum
Eric Haase 0.063 1 / 3 Minimum Taxi
Jake Rogers 0.062 3 / 3 Minimum
Willi Castro 0.037 1 / 3 Minimum
Anthony Castro 0.000 3 / 3 Minimum Taxi
Sergio Alcantara 0.000 2 / 3 Minimum
Franklin Perez 0.000 2 / 3 Minimum
Troy Stokes Jr. 0.000 2 / 3 Minimum IL
Daz Cameron 0.000 3 / 3 Minimum IL
Isaac Paredes 0.000 3 / 3 Minimum
Derek Hill 0.000 3 / 3 Minimum Taxi
Prince Fielder Inactive N/A $6 M Thru 2020
Total 26 man roster $106,592,300
Total prorated payroll $43,256,407
60 Man Player Pool Pos
Tim Adelman P
Nolan Blackwood P
Shao-Ching Chaing P
Alex Faedo P
Zack Hess P
Alex Lange P
Matt Manning P
Casey Mize P
Nick Ramirez P
Tarik Skubal P
Dillon Dingler C
Brady Policelli C
Brandon Dixon UT
Frank Schwindel 1B
Spencer Torkelson 3B
Jorge Bonifacio OF
Riley Greene OF

The above calculation estimates 15 minimum salaried players will average $575,000, and Niko Goodrum will receive a slight raise over his 2019 salary to $700,00.

Miguel Cabrera is the only Tiger with a guaranteed salary after the 2020 season, when Jordan Zimmermann and the four recently signed free agents’ contracts are due to expire.

With Prince Fielder’s final payment to the Texas Rangers being made this year, Detroit will have another $48.2 million coming off the books after this season. That will leave just $53.7 million on the payroll heading into next winter, before arbitration increases and replacements are added. More than half of that is committed to Cabrera.


The Tigers’ roster features a good deal of flexibility, with just nine players on the roster who can not be sent to the minor leagues without clearing waivers.

Players with at least five years of major league service time can not be optioned without their consent. Detroit has five players in that category. Players who have been optioned three times and have no options left include Matthew Boyd, Buck Farmer, Dawel Lugo, and Jeimer Candelario. Those four players would have to clear waivers and then be outrighted in order to be sent to the minor leagues.

Candelario and Lugo, in particular, are in a do or die situation. Both will be vying for the starting job at third base. The runner up in that contest may actually benefit from being out of options, which would give them an advantage over Willi Castro or Harold Castro to make the Opening Day roster, both of whom have options remaining.

A 10th player who can not be optioned is Rule 5 selection Rony Garcia, who must remain on the major league roster for the entire 2020 season, or put on waivers and offered back to the New York Yankees before the Tigers could send him to the minor leagues — unless, that is, the Tigers work out a trade with the Yankees to acquire his Rule 5 rights and then they could option him.

A player may be optioned in three seasons in his career without clearing waivers. Only one option is used per season, so once a player on the 40-man roster is sent down, they can be freely moved between the majors and minors (after the requisite 10-day waiting period) several times in a given year. A player must be on optional assignment for at least 20 days to be charged with an option year.


If a player is out of options, he must be taken off the 40-man roster and clear waivers before he can be sent outright to the minor leagues. A player can be outrighted once in his career without his consent. A player who is outrighted for the second time in his career can elect free agency either immediately or after the season.

Six Tigers on the 40-man roster have just one option remaining, and some of those will use that before Opening Day. Catchers Grayson Greiner and Eric Haase, and infielder Willi Castro could fit into that category.

The Tigers used 32 pitchers and 22 hitters during the 2019 season, so that’s 54 different players who wore the Olde English D for Detroit. The 2020 season figures to be more of the same, as the club attempts to sort out which players can stick at the major league level and remain a part of the future in the organization.