I did some long overdue updates to the payroll information. And already the Tigers have $90 million committed to next season, and that’s with only 15 players under contract.
My total is a tad under the $90 million mark, but I don’t have the data for Cameron Maybin’s contract which has to be in the vicinity of one million.
I’ve also tried to do my best to update the players’ status. When players are under club control I had to estimate when there arbitration years would kick in, so that is subject to change.
The Tigers have a number of players eligible for arbitration this year. Nate Robertson is a lock to be back, and at least one of Bobby Seay or Tim Byrdak (I’m thinking both) will be retained as well. I’m also inclined to believe the chances of the Tigers keeping Marcus Thames are pretty strong as well. So to resign those 4 players will probably require $10 million, give or take 2 million. At that point the club is at $100 million.
A veteran pitcher will be inked, either Kenny Rogers or someone else meaning the Tigers will commit another $8 million or so. And then there is the Todd Jones question, and whether or not the Tigers retain Jones, stay inside, or sign an established reliever on the open market. I think they’ll probably be spending $6 million or so to answer that question.
That raises the Tigers payroll over the $110 million mark. A utility infielder should be cheap, and relievers Joel Zumaya and Zach Miner should also be cheap. But Curtis Granderson is another matter. I still need to do some analysis on Grandy, but I think it is a given that it is in the Tigers best interest to lock him up for the next 5 years. While the big bump would come later in the contract, Granderson is still due to make double what he made last year. (also worth noting it would make Grandy the only player signed in 2012).
Aready the Tigers are poised to shatter their previous record payroll that was set this year. And that is without the club spending for a left fielder or left handed bat which is still a strong possibility.
As for when the free agent shopping starts, and arbitration decisions are made, we still have some time. The complete calendar of important dates is available from MLB.com.
The above spreadsheet is kept fairly up-to-date and can always be found on the Payroll page.