Tigers avoid arbitration with Avila

The Tigers have avoided arbitration hearings for another year, reaching a deal with Alex Avila on a one-year, $4.35 million contract that includes a club option for 2015.

The deal finishes the Tigers’ arbitration dealings just before hearings were scheduled to begin for players next week. Avila and the Tigers exchanged salary figures two weeks ago after struggling to reach an agreement. Avila expressed confidence a week ago that the two sides would reach an agreement before hearings would be scheduled next week. It took some creative contract work, but they finished it up late Friday.

Avila will make a base salary of $4.15 million this season. If he makes the All-Star team, wins a Silver Slugger Award (he did both in 2011) or finishes in the top 15 in MVP balloting, his $5.4 million option for 2015 will automatically vest. If not, the Tigers will decide whether to pick up the option or buy it out for $200,000 (hence the $4.35 million guaranteed). A buyout would leave Avila eligible for arbitration one more time before becoming a free agent after the 2015 season.

The deal also reportedly includes escalators that would bump up the salary on Avila’s option if he has a high number of plate appearances.

Avila made $2.95 million in 2013. He filed for a $5.3 million salary two weeks ago, with the Tigers countering with a $3.75 million offer. The new deal put the base salary closer to the team offer, but offers the enticement of the second year. If Avila is an All-Star and a Silver Slugger winner in 2014, a $5.4 million salary should be a decent deal.

Avila batted a career-low .227 last year with 11 home runs, 47 RBIs and a .693 OPS. Within those numbers, however, were two distinctly different half-seasons. His .177 average before the All-Star break was the lowest among AL players with at least 200 plate appearances. His .303 batting average after the break was the 16th highest, and his .876 OPS ranked just outside the AL’s top 10, despite missing time in August with a concussion.

Though Avila’s father is Tigers vice president and assistant general manager Al Avila, the family and the Tigers have maintained a stance that the elder Avila would not be involved in contract situations involving his son. Team legal counsel John Westhoff handles negotiations with input from team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski.

“A lot of work went into it,” said Jim Murray, who along with fellow Excel Sports Management agent Matt Laird negotiated the deal. “I credit David, John and their staff for being open-minded and as professional as can be throughout the entire process. It was a positive result for all involved.”

33 Comments

when discussing Avila’s 2013 – i find it common among those trying to make Avila look good to mention his numbers post ASB. But they don’t mention his L/R splits or his ability to control the opponents running game. Furthermore, when I mention this Avila-fans quickly mention he cannot throw out runners without the pitchers helping. But I wonder, did the pitchers do a worse job giving him a chance than previous years? o_O And I also wonder whether overuse and concussions have changed Avila so that he will never have another 2011-like season.

A bit much but at least there are incentives and an out built in that makes it more palatable for me.

I don’t mind the incentive ridden contract too much. If his bat finally comes back, then great, if not, McCann will be ready to take over by 2015-16.

http://minoringinbaseball.com/

One of my favorite days of the year has arrived. Groundhog Eve Day!
Yes Pena deserved better. He was more than a backup catcher.

Any Saturday is my favorite day of the year.
We once had a groundhog winter it under our porch. We called him Phil, of course.

The thing about Alex is that you can’t help but like him and pull for him. He is about as business like and professional as you want a player to be in game. He’s either highly emotionally disciplined or it’s just his natural state……… maybe a combination of both. He likely deals with more pressure than most players just because of his father’s position with the team. I wouldn’t mind seeing Alex show a little more emotion after a poor play or AB. Seems like this is a trend with athletes to refuse to show perceived weakness by exhibiting frustration and disappointment in failure. Alex really needs to get off to a strong start so maybe he can relax a little. I worry about all the blows he takes to his face and body though. For whatever reason it seems to be an inordinate amount compared to other catchers. Is this phenomenon going on with other catchers in the league? Has to be harder to catch quality pitchers than average ones. Especially Tiger pitchers who induce so many foul tips.
Gotta pull hard for Alex right out of the gate.

Turn up the volume on the TV and you’ll hear frustration from Alex after a bad AB. Unless he’s saying “bad luck” that is….

Maybe Brad can give him some pointers.

Is it a monotone, half hearted “bad luck” or a full on “bad luck”.
“Seems like this is a trend with athletes to refuse to show perceived weakness by exhibiting frustration and disappointment in failure.” Wow. You guys are lettin’ me get away with this rambling garbage? :-)

It’s a shout it to the rooftops “bad luck.” I was proud of him.
On the rambling garbage, I thought you were quoting Richard Sherman. No?

Fister wil make 7.2 with Nats

The yankees won 28% of WS played between 1903 and 1974 when they signed Catfish Hunter. And 19% since then. And most of post Hunter WS came thanks to a core of farm players:Jeter, Rivera, Petitte, William, Posada

What really irritates me is that Pena was as good of a catcher, better arm, called a better game, seldom struck out at the plate and we could have kept him for under a $ Mil. and wouldn’t have had to worry about someone else being ready. Jimmy L. and D.D. made sure Pena was gone as soon as they could get rid of him. Wouldn’t want to have anyone hanging around to hinder
Alex’s negotiations.

“It would seem reasonable the Tigers will push him somewhere into the 140-inning range, maybe 150, this season, although, again, Dombrowski refused to even breathe a number when pressed Saturday”

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140125/SPORTS0104/301250053#ixzz2s78qQYOy

With, hold your breath, Pokemon doing the rest of the work….

not sure if this is a good or bad thing but it’s here and honestly i think it’s relevant. http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/kate-upton-cozy-justin-verlander-article-1.1599021

The only way I see it as relevant is if he gets into a lifestyle that gets his focus away from the game, otherwise who he dates is no different than who Max is dating or any of the other guys.

of course nobody would care if his number last summer (while he was dating this girl) weren’t awful……and got better after they broke up.

Hey Jason, I have something new for you to write about. The Tigers are building a new seating area in right field. It is called Rightfield Balcony. These new seats will be mesh material, swivel & rock, have extra room and in seat beverage service. There will be 3 rows of these seats and they will be located where the Pepsi porch is. Write about them, I bought 2 for the season.

Dombrowski on Verlander: “he was starting to throw the beginning of the week, unless there’s a setback he’ll be ready by start of season”
@MLBNetwork

see my post for the setback. jk jk but maybe not.

I was replying to that post

obviously DD isn’t going to say “we’re concerned about JV. Last time he messed around with this girl his numbers went to ***** ” but i will.

Even with cable…

http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/eye-on-baseball/24427375/report-dodgers-to-raise-ticket-prices-up-to-140-percent

One of the comment hint that they are” trying to change the demographic”. A Giants fan was killed a two seasons ago. The Premier League did the same to keep away hooligans.

My prediction with no base: Seattle 24- Denver 13

people who have watched every NFL game (friends of mine – i watch all detroit games and weekly recap/highlight shows) are as amazed as those who have watched none (my wife). football is not the sport baseball is – luck determines winners and prohibits faith that the right team always wins.
…but, it is a distraction from the waiting….

In most sports, a good defense wins. Pitching and good fielding. I picked Seattle and I am picking the Tigers!

starting pitching A—-A+, relief pitching D+—C-

I don’t think Justin’s problems had anything to do with who he is or isn’t dating…I don’t care. The only thing I find bothersome about all these pictures of JV running around with Upton is that a week ago he was too busy recovering to come to Tigerfest but this week he’s well enough to be running around all week with her at super bowl parties and such?

2014 and we are getting ready for a new baseball season. For the fifth straight season, Alex Avila will be a catcher for us. This season he will be the veterean catcher on our team. Hard to imagine but only four current Tigers have been with the team longer than Alex. Just spent way too much time looking at Alex’s stats and yes back in the day I would be ready for the funny farm. To be fair all we can do is let him go through STand then play the first month of the season. If he hits well in April, and we will call that anything over .250 then maybe he can be closer to 2011 Alex. If he hits below .200, in both April and May then we know what DD will be doing at the trade deadline. Alex, an All-Star selection?? Silver slugger winner?? All I want him to do is play 125 games where he hits .250 with 15 dingers and 65 rbis. Oh it would help if he could throw out 35% of the basestealers he faces, too.

Jason pointed out that Avila will be the second longest tenured catcher in the AL and first in the central after Mauer moves to 1B and Santana to 3b

Justin/Upton (and their brother BJ Upton) have a long way to go to beat out the likes of Jeter and A-Rod when it comes to celebrity girlfriends. Meanwhile, I’ll go try and dig up some more TMZ stuff for us to discuss.

Would love to see Victor behind the plate a bit this year.

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