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The Detroit Tigers to Break Decade-Long Arbitration Hiatus This Year

Monday, January, 14, 2013


The Detroit Tigers will be entering salary arbitration this month with seven of their most prominent players, which is a record number for them.  According to the team’s Vice President, John Weshoff, “We're looking at the biggest group of arbitration-eligible players, not just in terms of numbers but also in quality, since I've been with the team.”  And Weshoff should know—he has handled contract negotiations for the team since 2002. 

The Tigers are proud of their record of staying out of arbitration with players for the past 10 years, and rightfully so.  The current issues at hand, however, will break the decade-long record in a good way; most notably, the issue of increased salaries for well-deserving players.  David Dombrowski, the Tigers’ President and General Manager, stated at the end of last season that the players were “due for significant increases."

The seven players who will be entering salary arbitration with the team’s management Max Scherzer, Doug Fister and Rick Porcello (starting pitchers); Alex Avila (starting catcher); Austin Jackson (everyday center fielder); Phil Coke (bullpen); and Brennan Boesch (outfielder) .  They are all likely to get significant raises, and from the recent predictions of, an arbitration salary prediction website, it is likely that the seven players will be able to negotiate approximately $15 million more than they made last year.  If that is the case, the team will be dealing with the largest payroll in its history. 

It is likely that Max Scherzer, starting pitcher, will see the biggest increase.  Some analysts estimate that after salary arbitration, his salary might double from its 2012 numbers.  However, with such a large number of players ending their initial three-year period and becoming eligible for salary arbitration, the ability to successfully arbitrate salaries that will keep all seven players equally as happy as the management that will be paying them will be a long-shot