Jose Iglesias found himself in a rare situation this offseason. His original four-year, $8.25 million contract (that he signed with the Boston Red Sox as an international free agent) expired, but because he has less than three years of MLB service time, he was not eligible for arbitration or free agency.
This (basically) gives the Detroit Tigers complete control in setting his salary for 2014. The clubs basically have three rules when renewing a player’s contract: (1) it can’t be lower than the MLB minimum ($500K), (2) it can’t be less than 80% of his previous year’s salary, and (3) it can’t be less than 70% of his salary from two seasons ago.
Iglesias’ original contract paid him $2.06 million per season, so the Tigers were only obligated to give him 80% of that total in 2014 (bound by rule #2 above). According to Joel Sherman of the NY Post, the team has done just that.
#Tigers and Jose Iglesias reached 1-yr deal for $1.65M
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) January 8, 2014
Iglesias will be in much the same boat next offseason as well. He’ll still have less than three full years of service time built up, so the Tigers will be able to auto-renew his contract again. And if I’m reading the rules correctly, they’ll be able to give him another paycut. Next time they would be bound by rule #3 above, so the minimum they could give him would be $1.44 million.
Jose Iglesias will be arbitration eligible for the first time ahead of the 2016 season, with his free agency coming just before the 2019 season.