Tigers arbitration roundup: Avila, Fister, Jackson, Porcello, Boesch, Coke signed

Friday afternoon was the deadline for teams and arbitration-eligible players to exchange salary numbers, which usually makes it a good artificial deadline for the two sides to settle. It doesn’t mean that the two sides can’t keep negotiating after that; in fact, sometimes having numbers in front of them helps to define a middle ground and find a number for compromise. It’s just a lot more hassle, and more risk that a player might be so put off by a low number that they want to see a case through, so teams prefer to get deals done now.

With that in mind, six of the seven arbitration-eligible Tigers have agreed to terms:

  • Alex Avila and the Tigers have agreed on a one-year, $2.95 million deal to avoid arbitration, a source confirmed. He was eligible for arbitration for the first time.
  • Doug Fister, also a first-time arbitration eligible, settled with the Tigers for a one-year, $4 million deal, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
  • Austin Jackson, also eligible for arbitration for the first time in his promising career, agreed to a one-year contract worth $3.5 million. A source confirmed Heyman’s original report.
  • Rick Porcello, who was up for arbitration for the second time, has agreed to terms on a one-year, $5.1 million deal, first reported by MLB Trade Rumors. That’s a big move for the Tigers, whether they trade Porcello or keep him. Porcello could’ve made things tougher on the club if he wanted.
  • Brennan Boesch will make $2.3 million on a one-year contract, MLB.com has learned.
  • Phil Coke, who was eligible for arbitration for the second time, will make $1.85 million, up from $1.1 million last year.

That leaves Max Scherzer as the only arbitration case left. They exchanged numbers today — the Tigers offering $6.05 million, Scherzer asking for $7.4 million, according to Heyman.

If you’re keeping track of what this means for the Tigers payroll, the signings so far add up to $19.65 million, compared with the $6.22 million they combined to make last year. Thus, the payroll bump is about $13.43 million, pending Scherzer. If the Tigers and Scherzer settle around the midpoint between their submitted offers, the total payroll bump from arbitration cases will work out to around $16.4 million.

Like Jackson and Boesch, Scherzer is a Scott Boras client, though that doesn’t make an arbitration case any more likely than with another agent. In fact, the Tigers have had pretty good success settling cases with Boras’ clients before going to arbitration. It’s the long-term deals to avoid free agency that are trickier, since Boras usually recommends that players test the open market.


It’s all gone crazy. Even fans now are intimately involved in predicting salary arbitration using WAR and comparisons etc. It’s almost as though the $$$ sign is as interesting as the player and his skill set. I remember when movies started being gauged by the box office numbers rather than the production and the cast and the word on the street. It is a shame it has come to this. Things change to be sure but gone are the days when our heroes had winter jobs to keep food on their family’s table…………..just like us.

Or came here to play during Winter.

They already settled with a Boras´ client. If I remember well, Jackson is his client too

Players once needed winter jobs because owners had all the leverage. Things have changed over the last 25 years and players are now paid as celebrities, as they should be, in the multi billion dollar entertainment business of baseball. After all, who would pay to see most owners do whatever they do.

Also, offseason conditioning has become a much bigger factor than players than it was during those years. Players used to go to spring training to get in shape. Now, you work out in the winter or you have no chance, and most pitchers show up to camp days/weeks before workouts actually start.

OK—doesn’t make it any more palatable to me no matter how you frame it.
It’s haywire. Bordering on immoral. And not just baseball but the whole concept of celebrity. Society is so obsessed with celebrity that we even like (and accept) our politicians being such..
Over and out. I am making a personal opinion here, clearly beating a dead horse and will find little agreement.
That being said, if Mike Illitch shelled out 300 million for a game-changing shortstop, I wouldn’t complain. He has to be way more frustrated with being a Tiger fan than many of us are. Any of us who say they aren’t frustrated with the last 6 years must be kidding themselves.

mixed bag for me dan. I know the disappointments are massive – but we’ve also had very good clubs and they’ve played very good ball, much more often than not. lets not forget how blessed we are.

Yes, lighten up Dan. The past seven years we have two first place finishes in the AL Central, two trips to the WS, one tie for the division, two second place finishes, one third, and last place in 2008. To me, Tiger baseball in the 1990’s and early 2000’s was frustrating. Losing teams are frustrating. The 34 thru 40 Tigers and 81thru 87 Tigers accomplished more than our current team as they each won a WS.

On another note, if brennan gets cut at the end of ST….how much does he make? I know it’s less. Either way, I guess, brennan will have his fair share of ABs in ST.

30 days if terminated during ST and 45 if before the 16th day of the season. After that the full salary.
Page 33:

Looking at it, that’s 16 days PRIOR to the start of the season, isn’t it? So basically, it’s one-sixth of his salary if he’s released by around March 15, or one-fourth of his salary if he’s released around the end of spring training.

True. My bad

“Max scherzer files at $7.4M, #tigers file at $6.05M”

MLBtraderumors had him at 7.5MM

Porcello’s agreement? Loyalty to the Tigers or made himself better trade bait? Maybe same can be said for Boesch. Really don’t want to lose their “potential” but will there be a place for them on the team?

5 million for a quality starting pitcher with a great defense behind him is a pretty good bargain nowadays.

Fine Max…..but which Max are we getting? It seems sometimes you are unstoppable and sometimes your aweful!…..so which guy is he aging or and getting? Here’s the problem I have with this whole arbitration thing these guys sign contracts, let’s say 4 years, 2 mil a year…..then arbitration comes in and they get to change their contract and let’s face I they always get raises of some sort! But if a guys stinks,….but if a player hasn’t lived up to his end do the owners ever get a decrease or any of their money back. A contract is a contract…..except for players!

Ps…….Porcello not worth his raise…..he hasn’t done crap to prove his worth.

DD has always been fortunate in not having to quibble about the $$$,$$$,$$$ with players thanks entirely to Mr I.
Paying over market value pretty much on everyone in recent times, it is somewhat surprising at the Tig’s 6.05m Scherzer offer which is borderline respectful when compared to the calculated $7.5m value which Max graciously came in just under.
Have to wonder if Max is part of the long term plans.

In terms of skill and character…….I hope so. The guy amazed me last year. He showed what a quality person he was IMO

Going back to what you said earlier, Dan, I agree that the whole celebrity thing, while always there throughout history, is pretty crazy. In the sports/entertainment field, I have no problem with the talent getting their fair share of the take. The athletes work at their craft full time for long hours over many years, as do entertainers, both with amazing commitment. What bothers me are the people who are celebrities for no other reason than they are narcissistic jerks who do stupid and/or immoral things to draw attention, and that class of media who breathlessly report it.

Narcissistic jerks who do stupid and/or immoral things abound. They are obviously not limited to celebrities and/or baseball players. Prisons are loaded with them as are loads of occupations. Look at recent history and think of Madoff and his ilk as well as of other greedy enterprises. Heck, think of McCourt in baseball.

Yes, and I was saying I don’t like it when people are stuffed down our throats as celebrities when they haven’t really done anything to gain that status.

Rich…I don’t think the Tigers are a reality TV show or anything close to Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie or characters on shows like The Millionaire. Now, I agree with you about “celebrities” of that genre and find them very unappealing.

At no point did I say the Tigers were a reality show or like Paris Hilton! 🙂

Rich…No, you did not and I did not say you did . Actually, I was just commenting on the celebrity issue(s). In fact, I thought your remarks were balanced, as they usually are. Maybe something was lost in the translation.

What bothers me is all the lying. Some people will lie until they just can’t tell the truth and continue to lie. It’s become like an addiction in our culture. Just my 2 cents. Goodnight.

amen! people act like ‘misleading’ people isn’t lying these days. politians tell more lies than truth these days-by such a standard!

DOK and Evan…Agree with your succint and well articulated takes on the success of the Tigers since 2006. Have been on the same page for quite a while and remember all too vividly the team’s preceding terrible seasons.

A cada uno lo suyo.

My spanish ain’t too good,but I got your meaning. Personally, I’ve found the last seven years of Tiger baseball to be both fun and highly entertaining, coupled with some frustration over several missed opportunites.

Right you are. We all have our own opinions. To each his own.

personally i have been relistening to games. Just listened to the 1st, 2nd and 5th game of the ALDS. What a series! CoCo dropping that ball inthe OF, don kelly winning game 2, phil coke pitching like was always thought he COULD….

Omar Infante as DH went 2 for 4 2 HR 4 RBI in a wasted effort since Magglio´s team lost and is on the verge of elimination.
Magglio was honored the day before and his number put in the wall only to see Carlos Zambrano almost no hit them. 8 2/3 – 2 hits. First hit in the 7th

R.I.P. Earl Weaver. Wherever you are, I hope there are plenty of 3-run homers.
I had the pleasure of attending Earl’s 9th game managed, at Tiger Stadium in 1968. It was the Tommy Matchick walkoff game. Frank Robinson had taken Lolich deep and by the 6th, Wally Bunker had a 4-0 lead. He’d pitched in and out of trouble all night due to his wildness but he had a no-hitter going. After another walk in the 6th, Weaver walked to the mound. We were wondering if he’d pull a guy who had a no-hitter going, but Earl returned to the dugout. Bunker’s first pitch to McAuliffe was hit into the RF overhang and, before it even landed, Earl had emerged from the dugout to yank Bunker.
I always wondered if Weaver had ever repeated that decision.

Tiger´s biggest nemesis dies: Earl 3 runs HR Weaver . The best manager you ever hated if you are a Tiger fan

“On my tombstone just write, ‘The sorest loser that ever lived.'”

Earl Weaver died? Kinda sad about that. This ought to fire up the Orioles even more, as if they needed it.

Just caught up on all the comments the last 3 days. I love this blog! I remember the 90’s and Buddy Bell trying to get the Tigers back on track. We as Tiger fans are lucky to have a team that has made the playoffs. Thank you Mr. I. Please do not trade Porcello. I agree the money is crazy but it is supply and demand. Cancel your cable tv, don’t go to games or buy any hats or shirts. No, I won’t do that as it is a small price to pay to watch the greatest show on earth. Go Tigers, 2013!

not a bad ‘listen’ either!

Raburn to the Indians per Heyman.

pretty crazy at least his family doesn’t have to move or move far.

I think they live in Florida.

Did Inge sign with anyone yet??

Inge? I don’t so, but don’t quote me. Very, very happy for Ryan. It will be a fresh start and new scenery, which really helps some guys. Plus, a classy new manager.

Musial just passed, too. He was 92.

R.I.P. Stan Musial, a truly truly fine man.

Without Raburn and Inge, comments on various boards and blogs will be cut in half.
If the Ravens don’t win today, I’m not going to the SuperBowl. If the Ravens do win, I’m still not going to the SuperBowl.
Anybody watch “Cobb” on MLB Network? I hadn’t seen it since it came out in 1994.

I’m good with how the arbitration process worked out for the Tigers and their eligible players. It seems both sides were satisfied without the creation of financial stress for the team.

I missed it but have seen it before. Tommy Lee Jones convinced me how despicable a person the Georgia Peach was.
Speaking of Tiger Hall of Fame greats. Guess who has hit more home runs (as a Detroit Tiger) than George Kell and Mickey Cochrane ,COMBINED??

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..Answer is: Ryan Raburn.

Speaking of records: the Tigers webpage still has McLain an Hiller with most consecutive SO instead of Fister.
In the rare feats there is no mention of the seven hits game of Cesar Cocoa Gutierrez but they mention six hits games.
Inge had more hits and RBIs as a Tiger than Magglio,That is hard to believe. Raburn always had his post All Star surges

Ramón Cabrera in the round robin:483/.531/.552/1.083 8 games/ 29 AB
Season:267/.309/.333/.642 32 games

Stan the Man Musial; Ted Williams! These guys were awsome ballplayers. Williams hit 28 HRs and over .300 in his last year after everyone thought he was washed up in 1959.
Both these guys lost prime career career years due to military service…expecially Ted Williams. Nowadays the only service we see from our players is Community Service.

Well……..they do charity service.

Here’s my take on free agency and the recent arbitration activity. In the past three free agency seasons, we have added four players who will make over $10/ yr playing for us: Victor Martinez, Prince Fielder, Torii Hunter and Anibal Sanchez. We have been both aggressive and successful over this time. Especially when you add in Jose Valverde, Joaquin Benoit, & Octavio Dotel who have contributed to our team.
We now have six players when you add Cabrera and Verlander making more than 10 mil. Four of our guys are right in their prime. How many teams in MLB can say that??
Arbitration serves as a payback system for young players who have done good work over their first three years in the majors. Right now we are working with seven players in this process: Sherzer, Porcello, Fister, Jackson, Avila, Boesch and Coke. Personally, I would think Jackson deserved a little better but these numbers can always be debated. We all understand that Mr.I is generous and the process has never been a problem for DD. Last season our top six players between $1m & 10m were Valverde, Young, Benoit, Inge, Peralta, and Scherzer. Our new six man list will be Sherzer, Peralta, Benoit, Porcello, Infante and Fister. Which one do you like best?? Which one makes the most sense?? Are we going in the right direction?? Of Course, we are!!!! In total, we will have twelve players between $1m and $10 m this year. Go Tigers!!!

DOK…I am glad you are back on this blog. Not only do you provide good info, you do so in a reasoned, balanced and generally positive way. So where the hell have you been and what took you so long to get back in the saddle?

I guess building two small snowmen with the grandchildren led to a lengthy battle with a stubborn cold and knocked me out of the loop for a while. Caught up with reading the past month’s posts now.

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times speculated DY could return to the Rays in an article posted today.

or maybe he’ll go to the Astros. 1 year deal.

Who cares what tigers payroll is? A true fan cares about the players and the game. I watched all the 90s tigers games intently and they werent that good and i am just as much a fan now as i was then. Only moneychasers care about others money.

To start, I think the guys who are paying and the guys who are getting paid care a lot. And, it is business, like it or not. I too am a Tiger fan, but I can still enjoy amateur baseball. But they are different worlds.

Remember that expression “follow the money”? Sometimes there is good reason to do so.

high payroll => lots of expectations.
Lots of expectations => pressure => failure to live up to expectations. At least that’s the pattern I’ve been seeing from this organization doing in the recent years.

I wonder when Max is going to sign on the dotted line?

Good question. I was under the impression his arbitration situation had been resolved.

Maybe an extension is in the works and slowing things down.

A two years deal?
Or the Tigers are worried about the late season injury and his long term health?

Valverde apparently still has no suitors. Is he done or did he hide an injury last year which has led to his employment predicament?

Closer usually lost it for no reason .Long closer careers are uncommon

Lots of good issues being touched on.
Not many teams are able to combine a large payroll and star players in their prime. 2013 is shaping as a defining year for the current Tig era – make or break time. As Evan states, whether they are up to meeting the expectations has not happened thus far. Victor and Torii hopefully will keep the camp looser and relieve some of the obvious pressing, particularly from Prince during October.
The Valverde crash and burn is just crazy if he is actually healthy as statistically he has been the best closer over the past three or so seasons. Still shaping as our achilles heel unless Rondon is able to be given time to slowly adjust to the majors.
We are sure lucky our team lacks prima donnas. Arod sure didn’t make it easy for his manager during the playoffs as he continued to fail, and now blames his hip for his bad stretch.
Continuing to play injured when you are obviously not helping the cause has to be the dumbest thing going in professional sports.

Hardball threw out a possible price tag today for Valverde of $2M on a 1 year deal so he can rebuild his value. Given his credentials, that idea gives me pause.

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