Detroit Tigers fans headed into the offseason with six players up for arbitration. Now, according to the latest report, Jose Iglesias and the team have avoided arbitration.
This is according to a tweet from the Detroit Free Press’ Anthony Fenech, who tweeted the news on Friday morning. The insider tweeted, “Tigers and Jose Iglesias have settled at $4.1 million for 2017, I’m told.”
Iglesias recently wrapped up his second full season with Detroit since coming over from the Boston Red Sox in a 2013 trade deadline deal.
The slick-fielding shortstop hit .255 with a .306 on-base percentage in 137 games. He also added a .643 OPS, 57 runs scored, 32 RBI, 26 doubles, seven stolen bases and four home runs.
Iglesias also finished as a finalist for the American League Gold Glove at shortstop. All told, the former Boston standout ranked 15th among American League position players in terms of UZR.
He paced Detroit with an 11.6 UZR while also chipping in with an 11.4 UZR/150.
2017 Role With the Detroit Tigers
Should Iglesias remain with Detroit this offseason, he’ll open the year as the team’s primary shortstop.
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This is purely speculative, but the shortstop could find success as a leadoff hitter.
Iglesias was the American League’s most difficult batter to strike out in 2016 with the lowest strikeout rate in the Junior Circuit.
With Cameron Maybin now in Anaheim, Iglesias could conceivably step in at the top of the order.
The shortstop routinely grinds out lengthy at bats, a trait that could prove to be beneficial to eat into opposing starter’s pitch counts early in games.
Of course, Kinsler is still with the Tigers, so perhaps Iglesias could bat behind the leadoff hitter if the second baseman remains atop Detroit’s order.