Detroit Tigers Links: Lineup 5th, 4 file arbitration, Bring back Max

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Yesterday we discussed various lineups for the Detroit Tigers in 2015.

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Later, ESPN’s Buster Olney seemed to follow our lead and looked a little more in-depth at the Tigers’ lineup. While everything may hinge on when Miguel Cabrera will play (whether sometime in Spring Training, Opening Day or later), Olney still has high praise for it, picking it #5 in all of baseball.

Next up, as expected all four Tigers filed for arbitration. The Tigers usually like to work out deals before the deadline and not actually go before an arbitrator but it may be a dicey proposition with David Price who figures to command the most money of any arbitration-eligible player in baseball this offseason.

Lastly it wouldn’t be morning links without checking up on Max Scherzer. Though many bloggers have been hoping Detroit stays away, one takes a different tone and supports his return, no matter the cost.

Tigers’ lineup ranks No. 5 in MLB, Buster Olney says – Brian Manzullo, Detroit Free Press

"“The Tigers probably will have days when they look like baseball’s most dynamic offensive team, with Yoenis Cespedes making Comerica Park look small with long home runs, with Victor Martinez demonstrating why he might be the game’s best pure hitter and with J.D. Martinez taking advantage of having runners on base,” Olney wrote.“In fact, you could argue that the Tigers should be higher than fifth in these rankings after scoring more runs than 28 other teams last year. But there is one major X factor: The health of Miguel Cabrera, who had ankle surgery following the season. Perhaps Cabrera’s return will be seamless, and he showed last year that even when he’s playing hurt, no hitter has better hands and he can still be very dangerous. Cabrera played in 159 games last season, batting .313, racking up 76 extra-base hits among 191 hits, and hitting .379 in September, hobbling all the while.“But if Cabrera’s rehabilitation is extended, or if he has a setback, that will change a whole lot about Detroit’s attack. He will be in a walking boot at the start of spring training, in all likelihood.”"

David Price, J.D. Martinez among four Detroit Tigers to file for arbitration – Chris Iott, MLive

"David Price• 2014 salary: $14 million• Projected 2015 salary: $18.9 million• Why is his case interesting? Because Price almost certainly will set a record for the biggest one-year contract signed by a player who is eligible for arbitration. Max Scherzer signed for $15.525 million a year ago in his final year of eligibility. Price could surpass even the $18.9 million that MLB Trade Rumors is projecting that he will receive. Could he be a $20 million player in 2015? Time will tell.Alfredo Simon• 2014 salary: $1.5 million• Projected 2015 salary: $5.1 million• Why is his case interesting? Because Simon has been primarily a relief pitcher throughout his career but posted solid numbers as a starter in 2014. That means his salary for 2015 will be based on Simon being a starting pitcher and not a reliever, which means he is due for a good-sized increase in salary.J.D. Martinez• 2014 salary: —-• Projected 2015 salary: $2.9 million• Why is his case interesting? Because it is rare for a player to post the kind of numbers Martinez did in his first season of arbitration eligibility, especially after he posted so-so numbers in each of his previous seasons in the majors. Andy Dirks got a raise from around $500,000 in 2013 to about $1.6 million for 2014 in his first year of arbitration eligibility. Based on the numbers Martinez posted in 2014, he’ll see a substantially larger increase.Al Alburquerque• 2014 salary: $837,500• Projected 2015 salary: $1.7 million• Why is his case interesting? It isn’t. This is a run-of-the-mill arbitration case where a relief pitcher will get a pretty standard increase that won’t break the bank for the team."

Opinion: Tigers Should Go For Scherzer, Luxury Tax And All – Ashley Dunkak, CBS Detroit

"Since last season the Tigers ended up under the threshold, whatever amount they spend over that mark this season would be taxed at 17 percent, the lowest rung on the bracket. If Scherzer gets the figure near what has been reported – let’s assume $200 million for seven years – the Tigers would be on the hook for $28.5 million. If that entire amount were taxed at 17 percent, it would cost Detroit an additional $4.86 million. While that cost might not be prohibitive, the penalties going forward – 30 percent on any amount over the threshold if they crossed the line again in 2016, for example – could certainly prevent the Tigers from splurging on Scherzer.On the other hand, there are plenty of reasons the Tigers could want Scherzer back.The organization has made its mission a World Series, and few would dispute the team is more likely to achieve that goal with Scherzer than without him. Owner Mike Ilitch has demonstrated a willingness to open his pocketbook for exceptional players – designated hitter Victor Martinez the most recent example – and clearly wanted Scherzer back after the 2013 season. After winning a Cy Young that season, Scherzer’s numbers were almost as good the following season. Will he produce in the future? Since he does have less mileage on his arm than other pitchers his age, it seems likely he could throw at least another two years, maybe more, at his current level."

Next: Possible 2015 Tigers' Lineups

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