The Detroit Tigers settled their last remaining potential arbitration case by coming to terms with right handed pitcher Casey Mize on what qualifies as a multi year contract. The deal will pay Mize a salary of $830,000 for the 2024 season with a club option for $3.1 million in 2025. Mize had requested $840,000 in his arbitration salary exchange, while the club offered him $815,000.
The deal includes a $10,000 buyout should the team decline the option for 2025. So the guaranteed money involved gives Mize the $840,000 he initially sought. The $3.1 million figure for the club option could be a bit on the high side if Mize doesn’t have a breakout season, in which case the club could decline the option, pay the buyout, and he would still be eligible for arbitration as usual. It would not be at all surprising if the club declined the option.
The deal allows the club to retain status of their “file and trial” tactic, while closing the gap on a mere $25,000 difference in salary requests and avoiding an arbitration hearing which would have taken place during the first half of February. In essence, the Tigers gave Mize what he asked for and in exchange, got a cap on his potential 2025 salary in the event he comes back with a big season in 2024.
Of course, the club would be only too happy if Mize were to justify picking up that club option by remaining healthy and claiming a spot near the top of the starting rotation where they have hoped he would reside since they made him the first overall selection in the 2020 amateur player draft. Unfortunately, Mize has missed almost the last two full seasons due to Tommy John surgery.