The Detroit Tigers avoided arbitration with David Price by signing the left-hander to a one-year, $19.75 million contract.
The pact instantly takes the top spot at the largest one-year deal ever handed out to a player who filed for arbitration.
This is familiar territory for Detroit as the previous record belonged to the $15.25 million agreement the Tigers made with Max Scherzer a year ago.
This is a significant raise for Price who made $14 million in 2014, his third year of arbitration eligibility. As a “Super Two” player, he earned a fourth year of arbitration instead of the customary three and he clearly made the most of it.
Back in November, Matt Swartz and MLB Trade Rumors projected Price would earn $18.9 million in arbitration.
The Tigers avoided arbitration altogether, opting to pay the southpaw a premium over the projection; likely in hopes of earning brownie points for future contract negotiations as the club aims to keep Price around long-term.
Price, the 2012 American League Cy Young Award winner, finished sixth in the voting in 2014 when he posted a stellar 3.26 ERA split between Tampa Bay and Detroit.
The lefty also put up a 1.079 WHIP, 9.8 K/9, and 271 strikeouts in 248.1 innings – all of those marks were career bests.
In seven seasons, Price has tallied a 3.21 ERA and 1.142 WHIP; all while averaging 226 innings and a 213/50 K/BB ratio per season.
Come this time next year Price and Scherzer figure to have even more in common than Cy Young awards, old Tigers jerseys, and arbitration-related records.
Scherzer currently stands as the hottest commodity on the free agent market as he continues to wait for a $200+ million contract.
Next off-season, Price will move to the front of the free agent class and Scherzer’s forthcoming contract should help set the tone for what we can expect when the southpaw hits the open market.