Carlos Pena, Jeremy Bonderman, Mike Maroth, Brandon Inge, and Craig Monroe were all tendered contracts by the Tigers. Midnight last night was the deadline for teams to offer contracts to players who were arbitration eligible, but not free agent eligible (those with between 3 and 6 years of Major League service time).
Now the question becomes which of that group, if any, receive long term deals. The advantage of signing a player to a long term contract at this point, is that you could secure the player’s first year or two of free agency, and perhaps save some money. The downside for the club is that they will probably have to pay a little more in the early years of the contract than they would going to arbitration each year. Also, they are locked into a long term contract when a series of one year deals would have been possible. From the player’s perspective they may give up some money at the end of the contract, to get a guaranteed 4 year deal.
Of the group, I’d say that Jeremy Bonderman would be the most likely to receive that long term deal. Given that Bonderman hasn’t been ace-like for an entire season yet, it may be cheaper to lock him up before that special season comes along. Also, with the escalation in pitcher salaries, locking him up at a lower rate now my be advantageous.
UPDATE: Here is a complete list of non-tenders from around the league.