Tigers Avoid Arbitration With Phil Coke

11:49am: MLBDailyDish's Chris Cotillo tweets that Coke will receive a $1.9MM base salary and receive an additional $50K in bonuses for reaching 60, 65 and 70 appearances on the season, meaning he can earn a total of $2.05MM in 2014.

9:04am: The Tigers have avoided arbitration with left-hander Phil Coke by agreeing to terms on a one-year contract, the team announced on Twitter. Coke is represented by Full Circle Sports Management.

While terms of the deal have yet to surface, MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz had projected Coke to earn $2.1MM via arbitration this offseason. That salary was enough to make Coke a non-tender candidate in my mind, as he was coming off a difficult season and has long struggled against right-handed batters.

Coke posted a 5.40 ERA with 7.0 K/9, 4.9 BB/9 and a 45.5 percent ground-ball rate in 2013. While he's normally been solid against lefties, they roughed him up to the tune of a .299/.345/.416 slash line this season. Coke has long struggled against right-handed batters, yielding a .298/.373/.435 batting line to those opponents.

The Tigers don't have much bullpen depth, however, and probably feel more comfortable gambling on Coke returning to form against fellow lefties than adding a free agent left-hander on a multiyear contract or a more lucrative one-year deal.



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