Detroit Tigers Rumors: Team Ready To Cut Payroll For 2017 MLB Season?

Detroit Tigers rumors suggest general manager Al Avila is about to cut payroll. These Tigers rumors stem from comments Avila has made recently, with the franchise looking to get younger in the coming MLB offseason. A report from the Detroit Free Press covered a season-ending news conference from the GM. It provided some interesting soundbites that have fans debating the future of the team on social media.

“We want to get younger. We want to get leaner. We want to run the organization without having to go over our means. We want to stay competitive, but at the same time, this organization has been working way above its means for some time.”

In addition to the above statements, Avila also noted that, “changes are coming.” Avila gave every indication that the team would be cutting payroll without actually saying those words. It could have been an attempt to keep fans from worrying about what might take place during the MLB offseason, but he certainly didn’t provide hope that the team will keep building a contender in the short-term. Either way, fans are buzzing all around Major League Baseball about which players might become available.

There are going to be a lot of Detroit Tigers rumors about pending free agents and arbitration eligible players before the main part of the offseason even begins. The Tigers also have to decide on team options for Francisco Rodriguez ($6 million) and Cameron Maybin ($9 million). The team will also need to sign a catcher to pair with James McCann. Finding a backup catcher might be the easier undertaking that the front office has to deal with this offseason.

Justin Verlander With Tigers
[Image by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images]

The total payroll for the Tigers was just under $206 million for the 2016 MLB season. Next year, the team is on the hook for just over $176 million so far, counting team options for Rodriguez and Maybin. Those salaries only account for 12 active players and an additional $6 million that the Tigers have to pay Prince Fielder. The highest paid players on the roster will be Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander at $28 million each.

Having a team that cost around $200 million and didn’t make the MLB Playoffs has been found unacceptable by the ownership of the Detroit Tigers. This could force the front office to make moves to cut payroll during the MLB offseason, possibly even trading star players who are on the back end of their careers. Could it mean that a player like Miguel Cabrera, Ian Kinsler, or Victor Martinez gets shopped during the Winter Meetings?

The Tigers certainly have some depth when it comes to young starting pitching, so the team may be improved simply by those players getting another Spring Training under their belts. Matt Boyd, Michael Fulmer, Daniel Norris, and Bruce Rondon are just a few of the names that Tigers fans could be hearing for many years to come. Building around that core might be the intended direction for Al Avila, as dictated by the ownership.

Miguel Cabrera Watches Home Run
[Image by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

As for the players who are going to hit arbitration for the Tigers, they are Nick Castellanos, Jose Iglesias, Justin Wilson, Andrew Romine, Anthony Gose, Logan Kensing, Bruce Rondon, and Alex Wilson. It’s unclear which players won’t be returning to the fold, but the Tigers cannot afford to keep all of them and keep payroll at a lower number than during the 2016 MLB season.

Fans of the team should prepare to hear about player movement as soon as the Winter Meetings begin. The team has to decide who will be offered arbitration deals, whether the players with team options will be brought back, and how many veterans will remain on the 25-man roster. Many other teams will also be paying very close attention to the Detroit Tigers rumors, as it could soon indicate that an All-Star or two has become available on the trade market.

[Featured Image by Leon Halip/Getty Images]