Tigers Close To Deal With Victor Martinez

The Tigers are close to a deal with catcher Victor Martinez on a four-year, $50MM contract, reports Ignacio Serrano of El Nacional (link in Spanish).  Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports confirm the report, saying a final decision is expected Friday or Saturday.  Serrano says Martinez accepted the Tigers' offer, and there will be a deal barring an unforeseen event.

According to Serrano, Martinez turned down a four-year, $48MM offer from the Orioles and a three-year, $48MM offer from the White Sox.  That White Sox offer would have been tough to reject, so we'll see if someone confirms it.

Though the Red Sox hoped to re-sign Martinez, they can take solace in receiving the best available draft pick as part of their compensation.  The Tigers must surrender their #19 draft pick next year to the Red Sox, unless Detroit also signs Jayson Werth later.

Martinez fulfills the Tigers' need for a middle of the order bat, and as a switch-hitter he can provide protection from the left side.  If the Tigers stick with their plan of using Alex Avila often at catcher, Martinez could see most of his time as a designated hitter and backup first baseman.

93 Responses to Tigers Close To Deal With Victor Martinez Leave a Reply

  1. Didn’t they say the same thing about Dunn a week ago?

    • DutchTiger 5 years ago

      I was thinking exactly the same thing, although this one includes more details, such as Martinez accepted the offer and such…
      Just being hopefull

  2. mowses 5 years ago

    Is the Tigers’ first round pick protected?

    • melonis_rex 5 years ago


      It’s actually the first unprotected pick in the 2011 draft.

      • mowses 5 years ago


      • Hannibal_Lester 5 years ago

        according to the order I saw, it’s the last protected at 18th overall. there are 3 compensatory picks for failure to sign last year’s 1st rounders, plus the top 15 (including the Tigers’) that are usually protected.

        • melonis_rex 5 years ago

          There are 3 compensatory picks, Oakland and Detroit tied at .500 for the 18th/19th picks, but the tiebreaker is who had the worse 2009 record (A’s did), so Oakland gets 18th (last protected), while Detroit gets 19th (first unprotected).

          • Hannibal_Lester 5 years ago

            oh ok. thanks for clearing that up.

    • twins33 5 years ago

      Nope, Oakland and the Tigers had the same record in 2010 and they were fighting for the last protected pick. Oakland has the last protected pick because they had a worse 2009 record.

      At least that’s how I think it works…

  3. No its not.

  4. soxfan0928 5 years ago

    Well done Theo. Well done.

    • lazerball 5 years ago

      Uh, he didn’t really have to do anything here. Or is that what you’re crediting him with (not resigning him)?

      • soxfan0928 5 years ago

        Sarcastically crediting him with not resigning him. Sox are going to be taking a monster gamble behind the dish with Salty back there this year. Hope he’s ready.

      • NYBravosFan10 5 years ago


      • andrewyf 5 years ago

        It is a good series of moves by Theo. Two years of production from Martinez AND an 18th overall pick (plus a 1st round sandwich pick), all for Nick Hagadone and Justin Masterson.

        Unless Hagadone puts it together (Masterson was never all that great of a pitcher), or Martinez turns into an MVP candidate in Detroit (all highly improbable), it’s a good series of moves for the Sox.

  5. PJaysW 5 years ago

    Wow, so the Red Sox are going to miss out on both Martinez and Buck? If they don’t land Crawford, what exactly are they doing this off season?

    • Dan Gorgone 5 years ago

      Sure hope Carl Crawford can catch.

    • Sniderlover 5 years ago


    • NYBravosFan10 5 years ago

      Everybody and their brother feels that the Red Sox will be employing Jayson Werth and his overrated 5-tool abilities. Theo is prolly gonna shell out some serious coin for him though.

      • Guest 5 years ago

        I think that is the likely result at this point. The Sox are missing out on Buck, now Martinez, it’s pretty much a given Beltre signs elsewhere based on contract issues, i’m expecting the Angels to announce the Crawford signing in the next 10 days, so the Sox will be left overpaying for Werth, who while is very good, it largely overrated of a player. I’m the biggest voice to criticize Theo, but I mean seriously, he can’t be just sitting back like he usually does unless he has something up his sleeve. So there is a little optimism for a change.

        • NYBravosFan10 5 years ago

          As long as he does something and doesn’t turn out to be the next Omar Minaya, I’ll still have respect for him. I’m not saying Jayson Werth isn’t a good player, I’m simply saying people are going to give him too much money for the wrong reasons. He’s basically the definition of #5 hitter. He has decent speed but not as much a good #1 or #2 guy. He has good power but not as much as a #4 guy. He hits for good average but not as much as a #2 or #3 guy. I’ve also never been blown away by his fileding/throwing abilities. I’ve seen enough of him over the past few years to know that while he definitely deserves a 10+ million contract worth at least 3 years, but not much more than that. My ideal deal would be 3 years, 36 million with a 10million club option for a 4th year.

  6. LTDm206 5 years ago

    White Sox offer information must be incorrect. That’s far more money a year, for only 2 million less over the course of the contract.

    • hrbomber1113 5 years ago

      ya that is ridiculous. he either HATES chicago for some reason or that is an error. not many of us imagine Vmart being a full time catcher after 3 years but I don’t think he’d have much trouble getting a 1 year $2MM deal after 2013.

  7. TreyIII 5 years ago

    #19 overall in a loaded draft class.

  8. MLB_in_the_Know 5 years ago

    How do you turn down a three year $48 mill deal for a four year $50 mll deal?

    • twins33 5 years ago

      Some players want more security with contract length. Martinez isn’t getting any younger.

      • soxfan0928 5 years ago

        Doesn’t matter. He’d get more than 2mm on the open market in 2014, which is the excess he’s earning in the 4th year. He could easily sign a 3 year/15mm contract to extend him through 2016 with his versatility.

        • MLB_in_the_Know 5 years ago

          “He could easily sign a 3 year/15mm contract to extend him through 2016 with his versatility.”

          ummm….I wouldn’t go that far.

          • soxfan0928 5 years ago

            Really? You wouldn’t give a 35 year old, career .300/20+HR a year, switch hitting catcher/1b/DH 3 years at 5mm a year? What are you smoking???

          • Who says he’s hitting .300 and 20 HRs in 4 years.

            Catchers decline fast. I would venture to guess he just didn’t want to deal with Ozzie which might be worth $4 or 5 million itself.

          • MLB_in_the_Know 5 years ago

            Assuming he is still putting up those numbers in four years now is asinine. At that point, he clearly won’t be a catcher anymore, which greatly depletes his value. Look at the market for older DH players now, no one is getting three year deals.

          • soxfan0928 5 years ago

            He’s not going to be a full time catcher, but he can easily spell at C for 40-50 games a year, then DH and spell at 1B the rest. He’s not a full time DH like Vlad or Papi. He can play the field. The Tigers are not even playing him at catcher full time, he’s going to play 1b and DH (as stated in the article), so he won’t decline at a rapid pace, his legs will still have life, he’ll only be 35. It’s not at all outrageous to think he’ll get a multi-year deal with an AAV of 6mm+

          • MLB_in_the_Know 5 years ago

            Just because you “can” catch by no means, means you should catch. Catchers age more rapidly than any othe position. He was one of the worst defensive catchers in MLB this past season at age 31, that will only get worse as he gets old.

        • NYBravosFan10 5 years ago

          In all due politeness, yes it does matter. How many reports do you see of guys turning down offers because the contract doesn’t include enough years?

          • soxfan0928 5 years ago

            A lot. And guess what. They all want comparable AAV (average annual value). How many times do you see an offer of 3 years/48mil offered to a player, then a team says “Oh. We’ll give you 4 years, but we can only give you 2mm more total” Never. Why would he go from making 16mm for 3 years to making 12.5mm for 4 years? He’s taking a freaking 88% paycut in his 4th year. That’s ridiculous. When players want “the extra years” they want it at comparable AAV as the initial years, not at 2mm/year or every team would say “Oh, you’re getting 40mm over 4 years there? We’ll give you 44mm over 6 years. Why would any player take that?!?

          • NYBravosFan10 5 years ago

            you also have to factor in team success potential and don’t look that formula up, I just invented it for lack of a better phrase :) Maybe he feels that the Tigers are more likely to get to the playoffs than the White Sox. Not sure what would give him that idea exactly but it’s a possibility. And you know what the biggest thing that sucks? He won’t come out and say exactly why he made that choice. He’ll rattle off the cliche garbage that guys always say “Oh this team has ton of potential” or “this is a true baseball city”.

          • I think soxfan’s point is rather that if Martinez hits the open market one year earlier (and 2million short) he is not only more likely to make over 2million in that year, but he is actually more likely to land a multi-year contract if he is year younger. When people talk about security they often mean guaranteed income over a number of years. 50 over 4 is not offering more security than 48 over 3, unless you count staying in one place as security. IF that were the case though, then Martinez would have just asked to add a 5-8 million dollar option on the end of the three year deal. If this is accurate, there must be other considerations at play (ex. just not wanting to play for the White Sox).

          • NYBravosFan10 5 years ago

            The last sentence is very possible. He’s an accomplished enough ball player so he has a right to decide as to whether or nothe wants to play in that city.

        • djg2111 5 years ago

          not only that, but due to the time value of money it is pretty likely that 3/48 is worth more than 4/50 by the end of year 4…

        • twins33 5 years ago

          If he can still play, yes he probably would get more than 2 million. No one knows if he’ll be able to or not. In 2014, he’ll be at least 35. Anything can happen.

          He seems to want to know that he for sure will be making money when he’s at least 35, guaranteed. The White Sox didn’t give him that. Or maybe he just doesn’t like the White Sox…I don’t know. To me it doesn’t seem too nuts for a player to want more security in contract length once they pass 30.

          • soxfan0928 5 years ago

            I think it’s pretty clear that he doesn’t want to play for the ChiSox. 2mm for 1 extra year is chump change and almost an insulting offer if there were no other variables. If I were to say to you “I’ll pay you $200,000 to work for 4 years at my company, or I’ll pay you $206,250 to work at my company for 5 years”. What would you do? Come on dude.

          • twins33 5 years ago

            The answer to that would be different based on everyone’s opinion. Would I want to work for five years rather than four…especially if it was guaranteed? Yes. I wouldn’t care that the other paid me more. If the job was the same, and I loved the job, I’d pick the one that wanted to keep me longer. That’s just me though…

            I’ve already actually had to do that kind of picking. I had to choose from a job that I love more than any other job and a job that I would love, but not nearly as much. The second job would have payed me a TON more than I’m getting paid now. I chose the one I loved the most which happened to be the one that paid less. Not everyone is money hungry…

        • Guest 5 years ago

          I think you’re getting a little ahead of yourself. Keep in mind he is a catcher and in 2014, he’s going to be a DH only. I think everyone can agree on that.

          • soxfan0928 5 years ago

            He’s not catching. The article states that he’ll be mainly playing as a backup 1b and as a DH, thus saving his legs. It’s absurd to say that his value at the age of 35 is going to be $2mm or less. You can’t honestly think that.

    • soxfan0928 5 years ago

      Vic would easily get 4-6mm/year on the open market after his 3 year deal, making it 4 years/52-54mm rather than 4 years/50mm. Don’t know why he turned down the ChiSox offer. Makes no sense.

      • PJaysW 5 years ago

        they could have an injury end their career.

        • soxfan0928 5 years ago

          Yeah well if he had a season ending injury I’m sure there are stipulations to the contract where the Tigers would back out, so what’s the difference? There’s no reason to force yourself into a 1 year/2mm contract when you’re value is 3x-4x higher than that. He’s making 16mm the first 3 years, then 2mm the last year, that’s an 87.5% paycut.

      • twins33 5 years ago

        Eh, you don’t know that for sure. Anything can happen within the next 3-4 years. He’s 31 already. If the offers are true, it looks like he’d rather know that he could still get paid in that fourth year.

      • Sniderlover 5 years ago

        Maybe he just didn’t want to go there?

  9. Hey Tim did you put the numbers of the White Sox offer in wrong? I can’t imagine him taking 50/4 over 48/3….

    • MLB_in_the_Know 5 years ago

      read the spanish link…is says he turned down 16 million a year from the white sox for three years

      • Well then the writer of the article got it wrong. Just doesn’t make a lick of sense to turn down considerably more money.

  10. TreyIII 5 years ago

    VMart turning down 3yr/$48M from White Sox cannot be accurate.

  11. rayking 5 years ago

    If the White Sox really offered him 3 years, $48 mil, it would be odd to reject that for 4 years, $50 mil from Detroit, unless he preferred the Tigers over the ChiSox by a significant margin. Or maybe he figures this is his last contract anyway.

    • Hannibal_Lester 5 years ago

      I would think that fellow Venezuelans Miggy and Galarraga may have had some influence on V-Mart’s decision, not to mention that they could still resign Magglio. Of course, this is only speculation.

    • Unless the Tiger’s number is wrong, and they are really offering 4 years for 60mil (but that seems expensive)….

  12. Hannibal_Lester 5 years ago

    So excited for Jarrod Saltalamacchia as our every day catcher. NOT!!

    • andrewyf 5 years ago

      Don’t worry, the Red Sox can now draft the next Jason Place! It’ll really pay off in 2020!

      But all sarcasm aside, it’s the right move for the Sox. Victor was really only a catcher in name only, his defense was absolutely horrid, and will only get worse as time goes on.

      Of course, this really puts pressure on them to sign Beltre, lest they all but punt the 2011 season.

      • Hannibal_Lester 5 years ago

        I agree about it being a good decision down the line, but the catching options outside of V-Mart are underwhelming to say the least. I hope that Salty finally gets it together and gets through a full season, but that’s a lot to hope for. Beltre needs to be the priority now, and by not signing V-Mart now they have no excuse (payroll wise) not to sign one of Werth or CC.

        • Guest 5 years ago

          Carl Crawford will not be wearing a Red Sox uniform next season. Werth however, is probably the more realistic option.

          • Hannibal_Lester 5 years ago

            I’m sure your guess is as good as mine. Unless you know Crawford personally.

        • Fangaffes 5 years ago

          Please make it Crawford. I REALLY don’t want to be stuck with a guy who constantly chokes with runners in scoring position. That would be too painful to live with for 4 years.

      • As a Jays fan, I can say with some confidence that a healthy Red Sox team, without V-Mart, Beltre, Crawford, or Werth, would still be a really good team. If Beckett and Lackey bounce back, they easily have a play-off contender. There are some good, young sox prospects knocking on the door. Maybe not signing the aging, expensive FAs is actually in the best overall interest of the organization. However, as a Jays fan, I say go for it. I would love to have the two empires in the division burdened by long-term contracts of elderly players.

    • Slopeboy 5 years ago

      Don’t worry, this gives new life to Cash’s and Varitek’s careers in a Red Sox uniform.

  13. Not being a fan of any of the teams trying to sign him, I’m just wondering why a guy would turn down 3yrs/$48 million fromthe WSox to take 4 yrs/$50 million from the Tigers? Something about that doesn’t sound right.

    • DutchTiger 5 years ago

      Maybe doesn’t like the White Sox? Or maybe he wants to play with fellow country men, like Guillen and Cabrera? Who knows. It is still a rumor, though

      • hrbomber1113 5 years ago

        um, then wouldn’t he want to play FOR a fellow country men like Ozzy? doesn’t make any sense.

        • Hannibal_Lester 5 years ago

          If I remember correctly, Ozzy had a big problem with Magglio when he was with the ChiSox, so maybe he’s not that popular among Venezuelan players.

      • Those are expensive friends to have or a really serious distaste for Chicago.

  14. jondogg2010 5 years ago

    He’s that hellbent on being a catcher which won’t happen for 3 years, go for it! I’m sure the Sox would have structured a deal where the first two were heavily loaded so that he can get paid to catch for the two years like he will do, and then get paid a little bit less to be a 1B/DH the 3rd and if they offered, a 4th year. IMO That’s what Theo & Co should have done.

  15. I doubt that is accurate, must be a typo. I mean I know V mart really wanted a 4 year deal but to give up 4 million a year for it?

  16. Well if it’s true… Theo should throw everything and the kitchen sink at Beltre and a quality FA bat.

    • PJaysW 5 years ago

      i hope Beltre goes to the Angels, and the Sox fall flat on their face.

    • Guest 5 years ago

      I think that is more of a risk than signing Martinez. Theo’s backed himself into a corner yet again, but I’m remaining optimistic that he has something brewing elsewhere. Or maybe he really is a sleep at the wheel again. I guess we’ll all find out in a few weeks.

  17. RiverKKiller999 5 years ago

    It’s good to see a Type A free agent finally sign with a team, or at least close to signing. We still haven’t gotten to the Winter Meetings yet.

  18. MeOnTheInternet 5 years ago

    Miguel Olivo is about to get popular

  19. Im excited about this move. Im gald they pursued Martinez over Adam Dunn. Gives them flexibility with him catching a few times a week especialy when they face lefties then DHing and spelling Cabrera at 1st. This would allow them to resign Ordonez ad then have Ordonez to DH when Martinez catches to get him out of the field with Wells playing right. Also he can be the fulltime catcher if Avila struggles Earlier this offseason I had them getting Martinez at 4 yrs/44 mill, Putz and resigning Ordonez. I think they go all in on Crawford and with Ordonez as the backup plan. I’ll take Benoit over Putz and then try and trade for a 3rd starter (Shields, Garz, Wandy Rod, etc.) I like how offseason is shaping up.

  20. NYBravosFan10 5 years ago

    Wow, that didn’t take long did it? With talks about Adam Dunn and now close to signing V-Mart, DD is doing the same thing that everyone busts on Frank Wren for doing. Why wait? Get it done, give him some Tigers players phone numbers, set up a couple meetings with the rest of the front office and boom-shakalaka you’ve got a true teammate. I hate when people wait until February to do this. He’s going to walk into spring training almost a complete stranger. Give him the chance to meet people and get to know them all winter.

    • There’s a reason Frank does that. He learned from Dombrowski.

    • PJaysW 5 years ago

      i don’t buy it. Guys are scattered all over the hemisphere. Makes no difference when they sign because they’ll either know a handful of players on the team, or they won’t know any. They’ll walk in at spring training and will not have talked to the rest of the team at length regardless of when they signed during the offseason.

      • NYBravosFan10 5 years ago

        he’s also got plenty of time to do other things like get to know the city better, get to know the ballpark better, find suitable in-season housing and oh yeah, he also gets to enjoy the holidays with this monkey off of his back!!!

  21. melonis_rex 5 years ago

    If anyone’s got a catcher to trade, this is the offseason to do it.

    • twins33 5 years ago

      Stupid Twins for trading Ramos for stupid Capps.

  22. I think their might be an option for a 5th year for him to sign right away with the offers so close. Why not wait offseason out to get more money? Maybe thought Tigers would move on and get Dunn or somebody. Also don’t downplay the fact that he is Venezulan as is fellow Tigers Cabrera, Guillen, Ordonez and Gallaragga.

  23. Whomever thinks that he actually turned down 3yrs/$48M for 4yrs/$50M needs to get up from their computer, go for a walk, and come back with a clear head. There is NO WAY in the world that V-Mart and his agent would worry about being able to follow-up a 3yr/$48M contract with something better than 1yr/$2M.

  24. tigers22 5 years ago


  25. Thank god. I was hoping the Sox wouldn’t re-sign him. I have nothing against him, but the only thing he’s worse at than playing 1st is throwing runners out as a Catcher and I’m sick of everyone running all over us.

  26. Congratulations

  27. Hannibal_Lester 5 years ago

    The Angels need to spend their money on Cliff Lee and keep him from the Yankees and Rangers. What ever happened to Callaspo? Isn’t he tearing up the VWL?

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