Detroit Tigers: Trading J.D. Martinez May Be Best Move for Present, Future

Jul 28, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus (7) and right fielder J.D. Martinez (28) talk prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 28, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus (7) and right fielder J.D. Martinez (28) talk prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Tigers
Sep 29, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Detroit Tigers right fielder J.D. Martinez (28) celebrates with designated hitter Miguel Cabrera (24) after hitting a two-run home run during the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

Salary Implications

The Detroit Tigers need to cut payroll ahead of the 2017 season. According to Spotrac, J.D. Martinez will see his salary increase from $6.75 million to $11.75 million for the 2017 season.

Most will likely view that as a bargain—which it is—making it easier for the Tigers to facilitate a trade. Martinez’ salary also makes it easier to include one of the team’s more unmovable salaries (Sanchez, Pelfrey or Lowe) in a potential trade.

Trading Martinez will do wonders for Detroit’s long-term salary.

For one, the outfielder will command a hefty contract when he hits free agency after 2017. Moving Martinez ensures Detroit won’t have to burden the team with another expensive deal.

Second, if the former Astro is dealt, the long-term salary commitment looks much better. Following 2017, Lowe and Pelfrey’s contracts expire, while Detroit can buy out Sanchez.

If Maybin and Rodriguez stayin 2016, their deals will come off the books after 2017 as well.

This is all without mentioning Upton, who can opt out of his contract after the 2017 World Series comes to a close.

All of a sudden, the Tigers are only left with Cabrera, Verlander, Zimmermann and Kinsler on significant deals.

Young core members like Jose Iglesias, Nick Castellanos, Michael Fulmer, Daniel Norris and Bruce Rondon will all still be under team control through arbitration at that point.