Tigers pick up Avila’s option

The countdown towards the Tigers’ deadline on Alex Avila’s $5.4 million club option ended a few days early. The team announced Monday that it has picked up the option ahead of Thursday’s deadline.

The club option was part of the contract that the team and Avila’s agent, Jim Murray, negotiated last winter to avoid arbitration. Avila made $4.15 million this year until that deal. Given the traditional salary increases from second- to third-year arbitration eligibles, the improvement in his defensive numbers, and the uptick in his metrics (Avila’s WAR rose from 0.6 last year to 2.1 this year, according to fangraphs.com), Avila was likely to get at least that much in arbitration.

Essentially, the Tigers had four options with Avila. If they didn’t pick up the option, they could’ve faced another potential decision next month on whether to tender Avila a contract or drop him from their roster, either to try to negotiate a new deal or simply let him go. There’s also the trade option, which began circulating the lobby at last week’s MLB General Managers Meetings. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported that the Tigers were listening on trade interest on Avila, and that the Red Sox, Braves and Cardinals could be interested. Detroit has also been linked in rumors to complementary type catchers, such as switch-hitting Astros backup Carlos Corporan.

Notably, team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski did not mention Avila by name on Friday when running down the list of hitters in Detroit’s expected lineup for next year, using the term “two catchers” instead.

“I wouldn’t get into any individual discussions,” Dombrowski said Friday. “I would say that at the General Managers meetings, I was probably asked about every player just about that we have, at one time or another.”

Monday’s move doesn’t necessarily eliminate the possibility. If teams were interested in trading for Avila before this, the fact that his salary is now set doesn’t hurt. If any team was waiting to see if Avila might hit the open market as a nontender move, however, that possibility is over.

25 Comments

if i had to guess, the Tigers keep him for 2015 but he is limited to about 600 innings due to a couple early season concussions forcing McCann and Holaday to cover.

if Avila plays only 60-70 games in 2015 due entirely to concussions, his future behind the plate will be very much in doubt.
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MLB has a process for determining when a player is cleared to return from concussion…the final say comes from them, not the player or the team. what i haven’t seen reported is how that process addresses a situation where a player has multiple concussions in a season. i.e. does the 2nd, 3rd, or subsequent concussions mandate a specific time away from competition?

have thought that Avila has had the concussion issue because he learned the catcher position relatively late in his development. then again, Inge didn’t catch until he turned pro and didn’t have this problem. any theories on Avila’s susceptibility to concussion, compared to other catchers?

yeah it is the pitchers with their nasty stuff that keeps his head ringing

Martin and Gattis out of the market

Well, good defensively and works the pitchers well. I still believe McCann is the catcher of the future for this club, and it will be interesting to see how the Tigers manage that next year.
http://minoringinbaseball.com/

Matt Sussman ‏@suss2hyphens
“Avila’s option was picked up but not before it deflected off h—”

Bill James:
“World’s #1 Starting Pitcher
November 13, 2014
Player Score Rank
Clayton Kershaw 607.8 1
Madison Bumgarner 571.7 2
Felix Hernandez 571.2 3
Max Scherzer 559.8 4
David Price 554.3 5
Chris Sale 551.5 6
Jon Lester 545.3 7
Cole Hamels 541.3 8
Johnny Cueto 539.6 9
Zack Greinke 536.3 10”

There are many theories on why Avila gets takes so many foul balls. I suspect it’s a combination of things. One of my theories is the way he holds his glove between his legs instead of offering a target. His mitt has farther to travel upward as the pitch arrives and perhaps a percentage of those tips could have been deflected if his mitt was up to receive the pitch.

I would like to have the guy on my team but am really pleased to hear that Russell Martin has been signed by the Jays. That’s cool.

Zach Duke to the CWS. One good LH option out of the market

SAY IT AINT SO ELT! He was the solution to the bullpen I wanted!

Neal Cotts is available.Dont look at his ERA but his peripherals

looks good to me

Miguel Cabrera ‏@MiguelCabrera 19m19 minutes ago
Gracias a Dios mejor,thanks God getting mejorgracias Dios por darme la fuerza para jugar fracturado del pie

He tweeted images of the xray, and his ankle. No dates of the photos

And because of the photos of those x-rays, I was finally able to learn exactly what his injury was.

Anyone find it odd that the Marlins gave over $300M to a player that got hit in the face in Sept and hasn’t seen a live pitch since? Anyone feel better about VMart’s 4 year contract after seeing the Jays give a 5 year deal to a 32 year old catcher that is 1/2 as good offensively as VMart? Scherzer and Lester are going to get crazy money I think.

No. He’s the genuine deal. They aren’t paying him the big bucks the first 6 years. . The amount is staggering, though.

Kathy – no denying his talent, the guy can mash. I just get scared about getting hit in the face like he did. For baseball’s sake, I hope he comes back and continues to rake. It is just odd to me that Miami would give him the contract BEFORE he return from the injury. There was absolutely no rush.

was thinking the same thing about Stanton. an injury that can have lingering psychological effects.

I agree with Port and Woody re Stanton. You never know about these things. On the other hand, how much did the Marlins pay for that monstrosity that looms over the LC field fence?

Getting hit like that can be everlasting but let’s remember that AJ got smucked once and to his credit, overcame it.

Oakland gunna get three years of country breakfast. Makes sense to me.

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