Oh boy. I get to write another rage article. The Detroit Tigers may be embarrasing themselves by taking one of their players to arbitration over pennies on the dollar.
That player is Casey Mize. He was the only arbitration-eligible player the Tigers didn't come to an agreement with on Thursday. Mize hasn't pitched in two years after undergoing Tommy John surgery, and back surgery in June 2022. It's been a grueling, lengthy rebab for the former No. 1 overal pick.
So what's a good way to repay him for all the hard work he's put in over the last two years? Potentially take him to court over $25,000.
That's right. The Tigers might go to an arbitration hearing with Casey Mize over $25K. Mize has reportedly asked for $840K in salary for the 2024 season — just $75K about the league minimum —and the Tigers won't go above $815K. That sounds ridiculous, I know, and it's a terrible look for the organization.
Now, in fairness, there's no guarentee the Tigers actually go through with this. They could just exchange numbers, give Mize his $840K and call it a day. But if they actually take him to court over this? Man, what an awful look. That would be Oakland A's levels of poverty.
Again, there is a chance this winds up being one giant nothingburger when all is said and done. But this shouldn't even be an issue. The Tigers should have just given Mize his money. It's $25K! That's a drop in the bucket in terms of Chris Ilitch's net worth.
Think of what this could do to Mize's psyche. He spends all this time rehabbing, finally gets to a place where he thinks he's fully healthy, and the organization that took him No. 1 overall won't even give him a vote of confidence. Different front office, I know, but give the guy a break.
Also think about how this could look on the outside looking in. How do free agents, both pending and current, feel about this? My guess is they wouldn't be real thrilled. If this is how the Tigers treat their players, no wonder they can't sign anybody.
And if I were a rising young star here — say a Riley Greene or a Tarik Skubal — would I want to negotiate an extension with this team knowing that they're likely going to try to lowball me? Something like this could have so many ramifications down the road.
So even if the Tigers don't go through with this, it's a terrible look nonetheless. Just give the guy his money and save yourselves the embarrassment.