Chris Iott of MLive.com reported last month that the Tigers and J.D. Martinez were working toward a long-term contract extension and Martinez acknowledged at that time that he would “love to be a Tiger for life.”
But it appears those negotiations have been scaled back with a potential arbitration hearing looming. It would be the Tigers’ first arbitration hearing since 2001.
Martinez filed for $8 million and was offered $6 million when figures were formally exchanged on January 15.
FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi says the two parties are currently discussing one- and two-year deals. Martinez is arbitration-eligible for both 2016 and 2017, so neither of the proposals currently on the table would roll into his potential free agency. A two-year deal would simply cover those final two arbitration-eligible seasons.
Martinez appears to be betting on himself here — banking that his 2014 and 2015 were no fluke. Or maybe the Tigers really low-balled him in those initial long-term talks.
The 28-year-old outfielder led Detroit with 38 home runs and 102 RBI last season.