Detroit Tigers Reportedly Avoid Arbitration with Alex Wilson

Feb 27, 2016; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers player Alex Wilson during media photo day at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 27, 2016; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers player Alex Wilson during media photo day at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

Detroit Tigers fans headed into the offseason with six players up for arbitration. Now, according to the latest report, Alex Wilson and the team have avoided arbitration.

Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Alex Wilson and the team have reportedly come to terms on a contract, avoiding arbitration in the process.

This is according to a tweet from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, who tweeted the news on Friday morning. The insider tweeted, “Alex Wilson, tigers settle at $1.175.”

As is quickly becoming the norm, Wilson turned in yet another excellent season in Detroit’s bullpen.

After logging a 2.19 ERA in 70 innings during the 2015 campaign, the right-hander increased his workload last year. During the 2016 season, Wilson tossed 73 frames. Over that span, he contributed a 2.96 ERA.

The reliever also improved on his strikeout numbers, going from 4.9 punch outs per nine innings in 2015 to 6.0 strikeouts per nine frames last season.

You have to look no further than WAR to see just how valuable Wilson was to the Tigers during the 2016.

In his 73 innings, the 30-year-old finished seventh among Detroit pitchers in WAR with a 0.9 stat in the category.

Additionally, the former Red Sox reliever finished third among members of the Tigers bullpen in WAR. Shane Greene and Justin Wilson were the only relief pitchers who ranked ahead of him.

Trade Success

More from Motor City Bengals

The 2016 season marked Alex Wilson’s second in Detroit since joining the team in the Rick Porcello trade.

While Porcello has gone on to win the American League Cy Young, the Tigers arguably won the trade.

The team received a shutdown reliever in Wilson and a half a season of Yoenis Cespedes. The slugging outfielder was of course dealt for future Detroit ace and reigning American League Rookie of the Year Michael Fulmer.

All told, Wilson’s ERA with Detroit is a sparkling 2.58 in 143 innings. The relief pitcher’s ERA when pitching at Comerica Park is even lower at an even 2.00 in 76.2 frames.

2016 Setup Role

One of the main reasons the veteran was able to turn in another solid season—not to mention an encouraging WAR—was because of a hot streak down the stretch.

From July 4th through the conclusion of the regular season, Wilson allowed just 11 walks, 10 runs and three home runs en route to posting a 2.09 ERA over that span.

Opposing batters hit just .219 off the right-hander after July 4th.

Wilson’s streak came at an excellent time. Fellow relievers Shane Greene and Justin Wilson struggled at times during the season’s closing months.

As the year progressed, Alex Wilson and Bruce Rondon became Francisco Rodriguez’ primary setup pitchers.

2017 Role with the Detroit Tigers

Considering Detroit’s most significant bullpen additions this offseason were Rule 5 draft pick Daniel Stumpf and minor league signing Edward Mujica, expect Wilson to once again serve as a setup option.

While he won’t be the primary option, Alex Wilson will help form a bridge to Rodriguez.

Next: Tigers Reportedly Avoid Arbitration With Romine

Greene, Rondon, Justin Wilson and prospect Joe Jimenez are other candidates to set up the future Hall of Famer.