Detroit Tigers and David Price Likely to Disagree Over Salary


Everybody enjoys receiving a well deserved raise at work, and a little bonus from the boss is certain to brighten anyone’s day.

In the case of David Price, a big pay raise is almost certain. Price, along with Alfredo Simon, J.D. Martinez, and Al Alburquerque, filed for arbitration on Tuesday. On Friday, each of those players are scheduled to submit a proposed salary for the 2015 season.

As Chris Iott of MLive states:

"If they (the Tigers and the player) cannot come to an agreement, (they) take their cases before an arbitrator next month. The Tigers have never had a case go before an arbitrator during Dave Dombrowski’s time as general manager of the team."

Dombrowski is a wizard when it comes to arbitration and the past shows that the man knows how to ink a deal without much dispute. But the scenario regarding David Price’s salary could prove to be trickier than most.

Here’s a look at Price’s salary over the course of his career, courtesy of Baseball Reference.

2008: $650,000

2009: $750,000

2010: $1,834,671

2011: $2,084,671

2012: $4,350,000

2013: $10,112,500

2014: $14,000,000

MLB Trade Rumors is predicting Price’s 2015 salary to be $18.9 million. As far as arbitration standards go, this number is astronomical. Arbitration salaries rarely top 10 million, depending on the player. Besides Price, the only other players in baseball whom are projected to make more than 10 million off of arbitration is Doug Fister (11.4 million) of the Washington Nationals, Chris Davis (11.8 million) of the Baltimore Orioles, San Diego Padres ace Ian Kennedy (10.3 million), and the talented Rick Porcello (12.2 million).

Of the 175 players in Major League Baseball that filed for arbitration this off-season, only five of them are projected to be paid in the upwards of 10 million dollars. And David Price just so happens to be the King of the Heap. But, there is reason to believe that David Price may command $20 million through arbitration, making him the first player to ever make that much in an arbitration year.

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To be completely honest, Price is worth a large amount, but not $20 million. Ifabsolutely necessary, this case should go before an arbitrator as the Tigers would prove victorious.

According to Chris Iott, “Max Scherzer signed for $15.525 million a year ago in his final year of eligibility.” Scherzer made that amount after winning the AL Cy Young Award; going 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA. Price is projected to make 18.9 million after a season in which he went 15-12 with a 3.26 ERA. Mind you, Price led the league with 34 starts, but to pay a player that much in arbitration is absolutely absurd. If necessary, the Tigers would be wise to take Price to a hearing as the cards in their hands.

As it was stated before, the Tigers have never had an arbitration case during Dave Dombrowski’s time as general manager. Even if a case is heard, it is unusual that the team loses the battle.

Sports Illustrated describes the rarity of a case, yet alone a player winning:

"Last season, 146 players filed for arbitration, with only three players (Cleveland Indians pitchers Vinnie Pestano and Josh Tomlin and San Diego Padres pitcher Andrew Cashner) having their cases heard. Pestano and Tomlin lost their cases, while Cashner won his case and made $2.4 million last season."

It’s an oddity that a case reaches an arbitrator, and it’s even more unique that a player is victorious. The Tigers have all the time in the world to pay David Price an excess of $20 million when he hits the free-agent market. Arbitration was implemented for a reason: so teams could have control on their players while still giving a bit of freedom to the player. David Price made $14 million in 2014, a $4 million raise from 2013. MLB Trade Rumors was more than generous when stating Price would make $18.9 million this coming season

The arbitration hearings are set for the first half of February.

Next: Lineup 5th, 4 file arbitration, Bring back Max

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