Detroit Tigers: It’s Time to Pay Jeimer Candelario

Jeimer Candelario in action against the Kansas City Royals. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Jeimer Candelario in action against the Kansas City Royals. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

Since coming to the Detroit Tigers from the Chicago Cubs organization in 2017, Jeimer Candelario has been one of the most consistent players on the roster. He has proved his value and it is time for him to reap the benefits.

Jeimer Candelario and Isaac Paredes came to the Detroit Tigers in a mid-season trade in which Detroit moved Justin Wilson and Alex Avila to the Cubs.

The Tigers have shipped away endless firepower over the past five to ten years, but this trade appears to be the one with the best returns, with Candelario being a solid MLB player and Paredes showing flashes of starting potential.

Wilson had been an average reliever up until this year’s implosion, but he was 29 at the time of the trade, and clearly not a part of the Tigers future. Avila has bounced around and played the backup catcher role on various clubs, but has struggled to show much of anything at the plate since the trade.

Jeimer Candelario’s Numbers

Jeimer Candelario is in his fifth Major League season and sits a few months away from his 28th birthday. He has made leaps each season and has shown immense value to the Detroit Tigers club. Don’t believe me? Candelario leads the Major Leagues in doubles with 39 this season and is slashing .276/.353/.440.

While these numbers don’t leap off the page, they show the model of consistency that Jeimer Candelario is. He boasts 3.0 Wins Above Replacement and has played a solid third base, including saving Spencer Turnbull’s no-hitter with a sliding stop.

Candelario provides a nice spark in the Tigers lineup and they need to ensure that he will be a member of the squad going forward. He has been tearing the cover off the ball recently, including a .293 Batting Average over his last 15 games, with 9 RBIs and 10 runs scored. He has been the heartbeat of the Tigers organization and has helped make the team watchable even at the lowest of moments.

What Will a Jeimer Candelario Contract Look Like?

Per Spotrac, Candelario is currently making $2.85 million this year and is heading into his second year of arbitration eligibility. He’s due for a solid raise in each of the next two seasons — probably something like $5 million this year and $8 million next — but the Tigers could perhaps spend a little more money now to save in the future.

I imagine a deal for the Third Baseman would be similar to Jonathon Schoop’s new deal in which he is making $15 million over the next two seasons. I would not be surprised if it was a three year deal worth around $22-25 million. This would put him in the middle of the pack for third basemen salary-wise. His deal would be similar to Eduardo Escobar, who signed a three-year $21 million contract after his age 28 season. Escobar is a comparable player to Candelario and a similar deal would be beneficial for both Candelario and the Tigers.

Why Extend Jeimer Candelario?

Candelario’s track record in Detroit speaks for itself. There is no reason for the Tigers not to extend the third basemen. Not only has he been the most consistent player in the organization, but he is also a steady leader who has never caused issues for the team. He is a sturdy veteran presence to build around and will be a good mentor for the youth movement that is occurring in the organization.

Extending Candelario would also make Detroit a more desirable free agent destination as it would further prove the team is looking to contend this season as another piece of the puzzle would be into place. The Tigers could go after a big-name third baseman such as Kris Bryant or Nolan Arenado, but the moves would not make financial sense and Candelario has proven to solid on both sides of the ball. At the end of the day, signing Jeimer Candelario makes sense and the Tigers would make a mistake in not doing so.