From Bill Shea at Crain’s Detroit Business on October 26, 2012, with mention of SABR member Gary Gillette:
The Detroit Tigers earned their 11th American League pennant by relying on a payroll bristling with both high-priced veteran superstars and low-paid young workhorses.
And soon the team’s middle class — at least within the context of Major League Baseball’s salary economics — will expand as several of those workhorses cash in.
Nine Tigers will be eligible for salary arbitration going into next season, and that will translate into big paydays for some of them.
Detroit-based baseball author Gary Gillette, co-editor of the ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia and president of the local chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research, predicts the team will pick up shortstop Jhonny Peralta’s 2013 option that will pay him $6 million while cutting utility player Don Kelly ($900,000 in 2012).
Gillette also predicts Brennan Boesch, Ryan Raburn, Sanchez and Valverde will be gone, giving the team about $26 million in salary relief.
Shedding those salaries allows the Tigers more financial flexibility to pay its younger, emerging stars. Or to chase another monster free-agent deal.
“Because if they lose in the Series, their financial windfall will be almost as large as if they won, but they will have a burning desire to do what it takes to finally win a world championship for Mr. Ilitch,” Gillette said.
Originally published: October 26, 2012. Last Updated: October 26, 2012.