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What options do the Tigers have in 2013?

A look at the status of each player on the Tiger roster, including options, arbitration eligibility, major league service time and free agency calendars.

Danny Worth has been sent to the minors ten times, but still has an option year remaining
Danny Worth has been sent to the minors ten times, but still has an option year remaining

Before the major league season begins, the Tigers will have to cut their 40 man roster down to just 25 players, and that will be the limit until Sept. 1, when rosters can be expanded. This season, moreso than any in recent memory, there are fewer roster spots to be determined during spring training. Only the final spot in the rotation, the final spot in the bullpen, and the last couple of spots on the bench have yet to be determined, and even those spots are down to a couple of players.

One thing that will be less of a factor this year than it has been in previous seasons is the number of players who are out of options. That is because the Tigers don't have any players with less than five years of major league service time who are out of options. That means that the Tigers can send any of their non veteran players to the minors without having to put them through waivers first.

That is, except for two players. Jeff Kobernus and Kyle Lobstein, the two players chosen by the Tigers in December's rule five draft, can not be sent to the minors without first clearing waivers and then being offered back to their former clubs. So, while both players have all three of their option years left, as far as the Tigers are concerned, they still are restricted from sending them down and that might play into the decision about who makes the opening day roster and who doesn't.


Once a player is placed on the 40-man roster, he can be optioned to the minor leagues in three separate seasons. A player can be optioned multiple times during one season, but only one option year is used. Danny Worth was optioned five times last season, and four times the previous year.

Once sent to the minors, a player can not be recalled for ten days unless another major league player is placed on the disabled list. If a player spends less than 20 days in the minor leagues in a season, an option year is not used. This is the case with Danny Worth, who was optioned in 2010 for only twelve days, so no option was used that season.

If a player is optioned three times within five years from the date that he signs his first pro contract, the club can use a fourth option for that player. This is the case with Rick Porcello, who signed a major league contract. We're not likely to see this happen again, as draftees can no longer sign major league contracts.

A player can only be removed from the 40 man roster after clearing waivers. If claimed, his new club assumes his full contract. If he clears waivers, he may be sent outright to the minors once during his career without his consent, but consent is required to be outrighted subsequently.

Once a player has accrued five years of major league service time, he may not be optioned to the minors without his consent.

Now, without further ado, following are the charts showing the status of the 40 players on the Detroit Tiger roster, with contract status including options remaining, major league service time, arbitration status, and free agency timelines.

Players with Five Years' Service- can not be sent to minors without consent

Player Service Time 2014 Arbitration Status Free Agency Notes
Torii Hunter 13.132 Done 2015 2 year contract
Octavio Dotel 13.113 Done 2014 2013 Option exercised
Joaquin Benoit 10.040 Done 2014 2013 Option exercised
Omar Infante 9.120 Done 2014 2 year contract
Victor Martinez 9.114 Done 2015 4 year contract
Miguel Cabrera 9.101 Done 2016 8 year contract
Jhonny Peralta 8.118 Done 2014 2013 Option exercised
Ramon Santiago 8.095 Done 2014 2 year contract
Prince Fielder 7.068 Done 2019 9 year contract
Justin Verlander 7.002 Done 2015 5 year contract
Anibal Sanchez 6.099 Done 2018 2018 option
Brayan Pena 5.081 Done
2014 1 year contract
Jim Leyland since 1986 None 2014 1 year contract
Dave Dombrowski since 1978 None 2016 4 year contract

Note: Service time is read thus- 7.002 is seven years plus two days service time

Players with Options Remaining

Player Options Left On 40 Man Roster First Option Second Option Third Option

Service Time

Arbitration 2013 Free Agency
Scherzer (a) 1 5/31/07 5/31/07 3/13/08 4.079 3rd Year 2015
Porcello 1 8/15/08 3/12/08 6/20/10 3.170 3rd of 4 2016
Coke 3 9/1/08 4.028 3rd Year 2015
Avila 3 8/5/09 3.061 2nd Year 2016
Jackson 3 11/20/09 3.000 2nd Year 2016
Boesch 2 11/20/09 3/20/10 3.000 2nd Year 2016
Fister 3 8/7/09 3.058 2nd Year 2016
Ortega 1 11/19/10 3/15/11 3/19/12 0.010 Ineligible TBD
Alburquerque(b) 2 11/20/09 3/16/10 3/19/11 2.000 1st Year
Worth (c) 1 5/16/10 3/26/11 4/14/12 1.144 Poss Super 2 2018
Villarreal 1 11/19/10 5/23/11 4/1/12 1.041 Ineligible TBD
Below 1 11/19/10 3/15/11 4/1/12 1.031 Ineligible TBD
Dirks 3 5/13/11 1.139 Poss Super 2 2018
Perez 2 11/18/11 3/15/12 0.002 Ineligible
Crosby 2 11/18/11 3/15/12 0.015 Ineligible
Garcia 2 11/18/11 3/15/12 0.034 Ineligible
Marte 2 9/1/11 7/3/12 0.154 Ineligible
Berry (d)
2 11/20/09 3/15/10 0.134 Ineligible
Holaday 2 6/06/12 6/21/12 0.049 Ineligible
Downs 3 7/03/12 0.093 Ineligible
Smyly 2 4/12/12 7/29/12 0.149 Ineligible
Putkonen 2 4/26/12 5/25/12 0.079 Ineligible
Rondon 3 11/20/12 0 Ineligible
Machado 3 11/20/12 0 Ineligible
R Cabrera 3 11/20/12 0 Ineligible
Lobstein (e)
3 12/06/12 0 Ineligible
Kobernus (e)
3 12/06/12 0 Ineligible
Mercedes 3 11/20/12 0 Ineligible

(a) Scherzer was optioned in April 2010, but not for long enough to use an option.

(b) Alburquerque was optioned on 3/19/11 and on 8/23/12, but not for long enough to use an option

(c) Worth was optioned on 5/28/10 for 11 days but not long enough to lose an option

(d) Berry was outrighted by the Padres on 8/5/2010

(e) Kobernus and Lobstein are Rule 5 players in 2013

2014 Arbitration status assumes players will accrue one season of service time in the major leagues in 2013.

At least 20 days in the minors for Worth or Dirks will result in loss of super two status. Any time in minors for Alburquerque would delay free agency.

Worth was optioned four times in 2011 and five times in 2012. Villarreal was optioned twice in 2011, and three times in 2012 Below and Perez were optioned twice in 2012 Ortega was optioned three times in 2012.