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Tigers avoid arbitration with Alex Avila

Jan 31, 2014, 6:05 PM EDT

Alex Avila AP AP

Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Tigers have avoided arbitration with catcher Alex Avila. The two sides agreed to a one-year deal for 2014 worth $4.15 million. The deal includes a vesting option for 2015 worth $5.4 million with a $200,000 buyout clause. Sherman adds that the option vests if Avila makes the 2014 All-Star team, finishes in the top-15 in AL MVP voting, or wins a Silver Slugger award.

This was Avila’s second year of arbitration eligibility. Avila had filed for $5.35 million while the Tigers filed for $3.75 million. Avila’s actual $4.15 million salary is slightly below the midpoint between the two sides.

Avila posted a .693 OPS in 102 games last season, missing time on the DL in June after getting hit in the arm by a pitch, and in August after suffering a concussion from a collision at home plate. He suffered a strained patellar tendon during Game 5 of the ALCS against the Red Sox when fellow catcher David Ross ran into him at home plate. All in all a tough year for the 27-year-old, who is looking to bounce back with a productive year.

  1. weaselpuppy - Jan 31, 2014 at 6:24 PM

    Nice move on the option, though I doubt it gets enacted…maybe the AS team part if he’s healthy.

    But this is a cheap deal considering a guy the same age, that came up the same year, with about the same number of games was getting almost $6M last year and probably will double Avila’s salary this year…but isn’t as good a hitter (same career BA, same SLG%, much worse OBP%) but is a “name”….

  2. Minoring In Baseball - Feb 1, 2014 at 12:29 AM

    Avila earns his money behind the plate. You have to give him some credit for the success of Detroit’s pitching staff over the last few years. The guy also takes a beating, and plays more games than most catchers when healthy. If he can get his bat back to what it was a couple of years ago, it will really be a bolt to the bottom of the Tigers’ lineup.

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