Tigers arbitration roundup: Price, Simon, Martinez sign
You’ve heard it plenty of times over the years, but the Tigers have not faced an arbitration ruling since Dave Dombrowski took over as team president/general manager. After exchange day, they came closer to keeping that streak intact, including the biggest one-year settlement in history, but they still have some work to do.
David Price agreed to a one-year deal worth $19.75 million, eclipsing Max Scherzer’s $15.25 million salary last year for the largest one-year deal for an arbitration-eligible player prior to free agency. Price was a fourth-time arbitration eligible, having qualified as a super-2 player back in 2012. He made $14 million last year.
Alfredo Simon agreed to a one-year, $5.55 million deal to avoid arbitration. Like Price, Simon is a year away from free agency. Unlike Price, Simon only became a full-time starter last year, going 15-10 with a 3.44 ERA in 196 1/3 innings over 32 starts. That earned him just over a $4 million raise from his $1.5 million salary in 2014.
J.D. Martinez, whose 2014 breakout season put him in position for a major raise just in time for his first turn through arbitration, also agreed to terms on a one-year, $3 million contract.
Al Alburquerque, meanwhile, will swap numbers with the Tigers, according to an industry source. He made $837,500 last season, during which he set career highs with 72 appearances, 15 games finished, 57 1/3 innings and his first Major League save. We’ll see how far apart the two sides are when the numbers are released later today, but it’s not believed to be a huge gap.
The Tigers are not a file-and-trial team, going against the recent trend. They’ll continue negotiations after numbers are exchanged, and have often found the numbers set up a middle ground for a deal that appeals to both sides more than a hearing, which sets up an either-or ruling.