Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila is looking to make the team more financially sustainable for the long run. However, even if Detroit doesn’t make any major deals this offseason, salary relief is coming.
While Detroit still has plenty of significant contracts on the team’s books, there is salary relief coming. That salary relief could come as early as next offseason when a number of players will see their respective contracts expire.
Additionally, Anibal Sanchez is another player who could potentially reach free agency. Per Spotrac, the starting pitcher has a 2018 club option for $16 million. However, his employers can buy him out for $5 million.
Elsewhere, Justin Upton is another potential free agent following 2018 if he opts out of his contract.
Another potential free agent is J.D. Martinez. If the slugging outfielder isn’t dealt beforehand, his contract will run out following the 2017 campaign.
Kinsler and K-Rod
Ian Kinsler is yet another potential free agent after the conclusion of the 2017 World Series.
However, according to Spotrac, the second baseman has a $10 million dollar club option on his contract for 2018. Given the veteran’s stellar play, he seems likely to stick around—although that is purely speculative.
Rounding out the list of players with the ability to hit the free agent market is Francisco Rodriguez.
The standout reliever will make $6 million next season (per Spotrac). Following next season, Detroit could conceivably hand the closer’s role to a younger reliever such as Bruce Rondon or Joe Jimenez.
Hypothetically speaking, if Pelfrey, Lowe, Sanchez, Martinez and Rodriguez come off the Tigers books by the conclusion of next season, the team will trim $48.05 million from the payroll.
Add Upton and his $22.125 million salary, and the number jumps to $70.175 million.