Tigers, Justin Wilson avoid arbitration with $1.525M deal
The Tigers, who have not gone to an arbitration hearing with a player in 15 years, began their effort to continue that streak Wednesday. Detroit agreed to terms with lefty reliever Justin Wilson on a one-year contract worth $1,525,000, a source confirmed to MLB.com. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman first reported the agreement.
Wilson, acquired last month from the Yankees for two prospects, presented an interesting case once he joined Detroit’s bullpen. A first-time arbitration-eligible player, he has been an effective southpaw for the better part of three seasons between Pittsburgh and the Bronx. Left-handed hitters have batted .235 (58-for-247) with three home runs, 24 walks and 59 strikeouts against Wilson in his Major League career; right-handed batters have hit him for just a .205 (100-for-478) average with eight home runs and 134 strikeouts.
Wilson allowed 49 hits over 61 innings last year with 20 walks and 66 strikeouts last year, recording 29 holds against two blown saves.
The deal leaves the Tigers with three arbitration-eligible players left to sign, including first-time eligible infielders Jose Iglesias and Andrew Romine. J.D. Martinez is eligible for a second time as the Tigers try to work out a long-term contract with the slugging right fielder. The two sides could settle on a one-year deal to avoid arbitration, then work on a longer-term contract without the pressures of a deadline.