Tigers give extensions to manager Jim Leyland and general manager Dave Dombrowski

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So much for Jim Leyland and Dave Dombrowski potentially being on the hot seat in Detroit.

With the Tigers four games up in the AL Central race in search of their first division title since 1987 the team just announced contract extensions for the manager and general manager, with Leyland’s deal now going through next season and Dombrowski signed through 2015.

Both men were in the final year of their current deals and back in spring training it was a sore subject for Leyland, who made a point of not wanting to talk about his status and dropped a hint about Dombrowski’s responsibility if the Tigers had another disappointing season. That’s a moot point now, as the Tigers have emerged as the class of the admittedly extremely underwhelming AL Central with a 48-38 record since a sluggish April.

Leyland has a 485-440 (.524) record in six seasons as Detroit’s manager, with his lone playoff appearance coming in 2006 as the team advanced to the World Series. Dombrowski has been GM since 2002, rebuilding the roster from back-to-back 100-loss seasons to post winning records in five of the past six years.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.