2011 Contract Issues: Detroit Tigers

The Tigers have one contractual option, but it may be decided before the end of the season.  Magglio Ordonez's $15MM option vests with 135 starts or 540 plate appearances.  Barring injury, he'll get there.  On the plus side, it represents a $3MM decrease from his 2010 salary.

In 2011 the Tigers will finally be free of many ill-advised contracts.  Their eight free agents are earning a total of $56.675MM this year, led by Jeremy Bonderman, Dontrelle Willis, Nate Robertson, Johnny Damon, and Brandon Inge.  Robertson is now with the Marlins, but the Tigers are paying most of his salary.  Factor in the money the Tigers are shedding for Ordonez and they've got just under $60MM coming off the books.

The increase side is light – Justin Verlander gets a $6MM bump.  They've got Ryan Raburn as a first-time arbitration player, Zach Miner going for a second time, and Joel Zumaya a third.  If payroll is held steady, the Tigers will have a whopping $50MM+ to work with.  Even if it's reduced, the Tigers are in good position to work the free agent market to find a left fielder, third baseman, shortstop, and a starting pitcher or two.

Thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts for the info.


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