The Detroit Tigers entered the 2023 baseball season with a payroll of $120,807,500, which ranks 19th of the 30 major league clubs, and is about $15 million lower than it was in 2022, when the team racked up 96 losses and posted fewer runs per game than any Tigers’ team since 1905.
The 2023 40-man roster features substantial turnover, with 20 players who were on last year’s roster moved on to other venues. Gone are Jeimer Candelario. Willi Castro, Harold Castro, Tucker Barnhart, Andrew Chafin, Michael Pineda, Robbie Grossman, Gregory Soto, Michael Fulmer, Joe Jiménez, Victor Reyes, Dustin Garneau, Jacob Barnes, Elvin Rodriguez, Drew Hutchison, Derek Hill, Kody Clemens, Angel De Jesus, Rony Garcia, and Bryan Garcia. Rony and De Jesus remain in the organization, but off the 40 man roster.
The major additions for 2023 include pitchers Matt Boyd and Michael Lorenzen. The lineup adds Nick Maton, Matt Vierling and Zach McKinstry, none of whom will cost the team much more than the major league minimum salary.
The bullpen adds Chasen Shreve, who was signed to a minor league deal that will pay him $1.25 million for making the team. Trey Wingenter was also inked to a minor league deal for near minimum salary as well. 15 of the 26 players on the opening day roster, and all of those optioned to the minors are not yet eligible for arbitration, so they’ll also make at or near the new major league minimum of $720,000.
Following is a chart showing each player on the 40 man roster, with their position, age, service time, options remaining, salary, and contract status for 2023.
Detroit Tigers 2023 Roster, Options, Service Time and Payroll
|Player||Position||Age||Service||Options||23 Salary||24 status|
|Player||Position||Age||Service||Options||23 Salary||24 status|
|Cabrera, Miguel||1b||40.074||19.101||3 / 3||$32,000,000||$8M buyout|
|Báez, Javier||ss||30.212||7.089||2 / 3||$22,000,000||25M option|
|Rodriguez, Eduardo||lhp-s||30.085||7.070||2 / 3||$14,000,000||18M option|
|Boyd, Matt||lhp-s||32.149||6.136||0 / 3||$10,000,000||FA|
|Lorenzen, Michael||rhp-s||31.178||7.159||3 / 3||$8,500,000||FA|
|Schoop, Jonathan||2b||31.258||9.027||2 / 3||$7,500,000||FA|
|Meadows, Austin||rf||28.059||4.074||2 / 3||$4,300,000||Arb 3 of 3|
|Cisnero, José||rhp||34.081||5.020||1 / 3||$2,287,500||FA|
|Turnbull, Spencer||rhp-s||30.286||4.020||2 / 3||$2,150,000||Arb 3 of 3|
|Alexander, Tyler||lhp||28.352||3.058||2 / 3||$1,875,000||Arb 2 of 3|
|Shreve, Chasen||lhp||32.355||6.079||0 / 3||$1,250,000||FA|
|Wingenter, Trey||rhp||29.077||3.053||2 / 3||Minimum||Arb 2 of 3|
|Skubal, Tarik||lhp||26.223||2.114||3 / 3||Minimum||Arb 1 of 3|
|Mize, Casey||rhp-s||26.061||2.111||3 / 3||Minimum||Arb 1 of 3|
|Haase, Eric||c||30.196||2.072||0 / 3||Minimum||Arb 1 of 3|
|Rogers, Jake||c||28.074||2.040||2 / 3||Minimum||Arb 1 of 3|
|Lange, Alex||rhp-c||27.272||1.112||3 / 3||Minimum||Pre Arb|
|McKinstry, Zach||2b||28.063||1.099||1 / 3||Minimum||Pre Arb|
|Manning, Matt||rhp-s||25.154||1.098||3 / 3||Minimum||Pre Arb|
|Maton, Nick||3b||26.133||1.034||1 / 3||Minimum||Pre Arb|
|Foley, Jason||rhp||27.242||1.026||3 / 3||Minimum||Pre Arb|
|Vierling, Matt||lf||26.288||1.026||1 / 3||Minimum||Pre Arb|
|Brieske, Beau||rhp||25.087||0.166||3 / 3||Minimum||Pre Arb|
|Torkelson, Spencer||1b||23.309||0.137||2 / 3||Minimum||Pre Arb|
|Nevin, Tyler||3b||26.033||0.133||1 / 3||Minimum||Pre Arb|
|Greene, Riley||cf||22.276||0.110||3 / 3||Minimum||Pre Arb|
|Hill, Garrett||rhp||27.166||0.082||3 / 3||Minimum||Pre Arb|
|Carpenter, Kerry||of||25.302||0.057||3 / 3||Minimum||Pre Arb|
|Kreidler, Ryan||ss||25.231||0.035||3 / 3||Minimum||Pre Arb|
|Wentz, Joey||lhp||25.268||0.030||1 / 3||Minimum||Pre Arb|
|Englert, Mason||rhp||23.242||0.000||3 / 3||Minimum||Pre Arb|
|Pacheco, Freddy||rhp||25.075||0.000||2 / 3||Minimum||Pre Arb|
|Baddoo, Akiil||of||24.319||1.119||2 / 3||Minimum||Pre Arb|
|Faedo, Alex||rhp||27.231||0.051||1 / 3||Minimum||Pre Arb|
|Holton, Tyler||lhp||26.018||0.047||2 / 3||Minimum||Pre Arb|
|Lipcius, Andre||2b||25.040||0.000||3 / 3||Minimum||Pre Arb|
|Meadows, Parker||of||23.241||0.000||3 / 3||Minimum||Pre Arb|
|Olson, Reese||rhp||23.335||0.000||3 / 3||Minimum||Pre Arb|
|Pérez, Wenceel||2b||23.244||0.000||3 / 3||Minimum||Pre Arb|
|Sands, Donny||c||27.046||0.035||3 / 3||Minimum||Pre Arb|
|Short, Zack||SS||28.033||0.102||1 / 3||Minimum||Pre Arb|
|Vest, Will||rhp||28.025||1.108||3 / 3||Minimum||Pre Arb|
|White, Brendan||rhp||24.255||0.000||3 / 3||Minimum||Pre Arb|
* Options for 2023 not included yet. This means that those optioned will burn one more option after being in the minors for 20 days after opening day.
Source: Cot’s Contracts
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) up to five times in a given season. A player must be on optional assignment for at least 20 days to be charged with an option year.
Players with at least five years of major league service time can’t be optioned without their consent. Detroit has eight players in that category. Austin Meadows will celebrate his five year anniversary late in the season, meaning he can not be optioned without his consent after that point.
The Tigers’ roster features a total of nine players who can not be sent to the minor leagues without clearing waivers. Those are the eight players with at least five years of service time, plus Eric Haase, who is out of options.
Players optioned this spring will not have their option counted until they remain in the minor leagues for 20 days. Those numbers will change shortly for those players unless they are called up to Detroit.
Eight Tigers have just one option year remaining, including Jose Cisnero, Zach McKinstry, Nick Maton, Matt Vierling, Joey Wentz, Tyler Nevin, Alex Faedo, and Zach Short. Both Faedo and Short have already been optioned. Nevin remains on the major league roster but is on a rehab assignment in Toledo.
When 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. Rony Garcia had to clear waivers in order to be sent outright to the minors at the start of the season, although he had an option remaining. Trevor Rosenthal was signed to a minor league deal, so he is not on the 40 man roster, but he almost certainly will have an opt out at some point if he is not called up. Cesar Hernandez was designated for assignment and refused the minor league assignment, opting for free agency instead. He signed a minor league deal with the Seattle Mariners on Friday.
The median payroll in major league baseball is between $173 and $179 million, which is $53 million to $59 million higher than Detroit is spending on it’s opening day payroll this season. The average MLB payroll is just under $149 million, according to Spotrac. Figures do not include minor league salaries, which are changing and subject to individual contract terms.
The Tigers don’t have any guaranteed contract commitments beyond the 2023 season other than two player options for Eduardo Rodriguez and Javier Baez. They will have eight players eligible for arbitration.
After the 2023 season, the club could see their six highest paid players all drop off the payroll, depending whether Baez ($25M option) and/ or Rodriguez ($18M option) opt out of their contracts which were signed before the 2022 season. Miguel Cabrera will be paid an $8 million buyout as he retires and awaits the call from Cooperstown. Boyd, Lorenzen, and Jonathan Schoop all will be eligible for free agency.
Added up, that’s at least $58 million and up to $94 million that could come off the books before the 2024 season. That would put the Tigers’ payroll between $26 million and $62 million before replacement players are added to the roster.