Tigers' lone non-tender is Schlereth
The Tigers confirmed Friday afternoon — the deadline for offering contract to arbitration-eligible players — that they would tender contracts to all of the unsigned players on their 40-man roster, with the exception of one.
Daniel Schlereth, who would not have been eligible for arbitration until after next season, was not tendered a contract, the team announced, and becomes a free agent.
The Tigers went into the offseason with an inordinate number of players headed to arbitration, but two of them — Don Kelly and Ryan Raburn — had already been taken out of the equation. That leaves Alex Avila, Brennan Boesch, Phil Coke, Doug Fister, Austin Jackson, Rick Porcello and Max Scherzer as players who will head toward arbitration.
“We have more arbitration-eligible players this year, than what we’ve had," Tigers president and GM Dave Dombrowski said in his press conference at the start of the offseason. "There’s some significant guys that fit that category, and that will take up a significant amount of dollars for us.”
It seemed pretty certain that the Tigers would keep the majority of the remaining players on that list around, considering how integral they will be to the construction of the team going forward. The lone exception might be Boesch who, along with Porcello, has been the subject of trade rumors as the offseason picks up momentum headed into next week's winter meetings.
Dombrowski said at the start of the offseason that the organization still had faith in Boesch, who struggled mightily in 2012, even if there was no guarantee he'd have much of a role in 2013.
"We'll tender him a contract," the GM said at the time. “I think in (his) case that he still has ability. He still hit the ball out of the ballpark. We still see some untapped potential. He has struggled some. He hasn’t made the strides we’d like him to make. However, sometimes power hitters take longer to come about, too. But I cannot look and tell you he’s a given, that one of those corner outfield spots are his at this time. That’s something he’d have to earn, by all means. But that doesn’t mean you’d non-tender him because I think he has value as a player.”