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That turned out not to be the case, but he did predict it would be expensive to avoid arbitration with Price, and that’s exactly what happened. The Tigers and David Price have agreed on a one-year, $19.75 million contract which avoids arbitration. This figure is slightly higher than MLB Trade Rumors projected for his salary ($18.9).
The record $19.75 million would likely clear a hurdle toward resigning Price to a long-term deal before Spring Training, should both sides have interest, however that seems unlikely to happen at this point. Remember, however, the Tigers agreed to pay Max Scherzer $15.525 million in his final year of arbitration eligibility before last season and then presented him with a contract extension that he turned down.
Price is in his fourth and final year of arbitration eligibility and made an even $14 million last season split between Tampa Bay and Detroit. He is an unrestricted free agent after this season.
Historically the Tigers have tried to avoid going in front of an arbitrator and offer contracts to their players prior to that process. As you can see from Price getting slightly more than was anticipated, this can be a costly process and likely played into the trades of Rick Porcello this offseason and Doug Fister last offseason, both eligible for arbitration.
With Price signed and Porcello and Fister off the books, that means three players remain. J.D. Martinez, Al Alburquerque and newcomer Alfredo Simon will likely be offered deals today. If they cannot come to an agreement by Feb. 1, the Tigers and the player will schedule an arbitration hearing.
At the time this article was being written, no other deals had been announced, though Jason Beck reported this about Al-Al.
UPDATE: Alfredo Simon and Tigers agree to $5.55 million for next season, per Jason Beck.
UPDATE: J.D. Martinez agreed but terms were not made immediately available.