Detroit went in to the off-season with the intention of cutting payroll, getting younger, and starting to rebuild a minor league system that consistently ranks in the bottom third of the league. None of that happened of course and what we have is a team that in teetering on the luxury tax line. With all arbitration cases settled at this point, the Tigers will move into spring training with a payroll around $194.2MM, plus a handful of Pre-Arbitration guys who cost between $500k and $525K per and will add a few more million on the books. Don’t forget to tack on the $6MM owed to Texas for a now retired Prince Fielder as well.
The starting infield will cost a cool $46.6(ish)M this year, led by Miguel Cabrera’s $28MM, followed by Ian Kinsler at $11MM, Jose Iglesias $4.1MM, Nick Castellanos at $3MM, and James McCann in Pre-Arb and will make around $525k
The rotation which is a bit of a mystery in regards to the 5th starter, pans out like this…Justin Verlander $28MM, Jordan Zimmermann $18MM, Michael Fulmer $500k(ish), Daniel Norris $525K(ish), and let’s call it Anibal Sanchez ($16.8M), when in reality it will be more like Matt Boyd. With Sanchez mixed in to this group, it would put the rotation at $63.825 and if it was Boyd, it would look more like $47.525M
The bullpen will need to work itself out as well, but if we start with Francisco Rodriguez ($6MM), Mike Pelfrey ($8MM), Mark Lowe ($5.5MM), Justin Wilson ($2.7M), Alex Wilson ($1.1M), Bruce Rondon ($800K), and two Pre-Arb guys, it would cost Detroit around $25.1M
For those keeping track, that’s:
Starting Rotation: $63.8M
Prince Fielder: $6MM
All I can say is for this amount, this team needs to produce…