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Tigers likely to tender deals to arb-eligibles

Rondon lone question mark heading into Friday's deadline
MLB.com @beckjason

DETROIT -- The Tigers spent the summer trimming payroll in their flurry of trades for prospects, then made some tough decisions on arbitration-eligible players at season's end. Friday's non-tender deadline, by contrast, has the chance to be quiet for them.

Six Tigers players remain eligible for arbitration, not including lefty reliever Blaine Hardy, who reached a one-year deal earlier this week. Clubs have until 8 p.m. ET on Friday to officially offer a contract to players on their 40-man roster, including those eligible for arbitration but not those with guaranteed contracts. For arbitration-eligible players, this is the final point for teams to release players if they don't want to go through the process of exchanging offers in January and potentially go through hearings in February.

DETROIT -- The Tigers spent the summer trimming payroll in their flurry of trades for prospects, then made some tough decisions on arbitration-eligible players at season's end. Friday's non-tender deadline, by contrast, has the chance to be quiet for them.

Six Tigers players remain eligible for arbitration, not including lefty reliever Blaine Hardy, who reached a one-year deal earlier this week. Clubs have until 8 p.m. ET on Friday to officially offer a contract to players on their 40-man roster, including those eligible for arbitration but not those with guaranteed contracts. For arbitration-eligible players, this is the final point for teams to release players if they don't want to go through the process of exchanging offers in January and potentially go through hearings in February.

Hot Stove Tracker

The Tigers took care of several decisions at the start of the offseason, when they dropped outfielders Alex Presley and Tyler Collins from the roster while letting Andrew Romine go on waivers. All three would've been eligible for arbitration. Most of the remaining decisions are fairly easy. Enigmatic reliever Bruce Rondon's situation is complicated, but with his 27th birthday coming up next Saturday, he seems poised to get one more shot.

Just as important for the Tigers, Friday's non-tender date is expected to send several players from other clubs onto the open market, giving Detroit options as it looks to add talent -- notably relievers -- on low-risk contracts.

Video: DET@MIN: Castellanos lines a two-run home run to left

Here's a look at the full list of arbitration-eligible Tigers:

RF Nicholas Castellanos
Arb-eligible year:
Second of three
2017 salary: $3 million
Projected 2018 salary (per MLBTradeRumors.com): $7.6 million

Castellanos enjoyed an offensive emergence at age 25 this past season, posting career bests of 167 hits, 26 home runs, 36 doubles, 10 triples and 101 RBIs. With free agency two years away, he's expected to become a trade candidate as the Tigers look down the road. Detroit will go year to year with his contract until then while making him part of the core of a retooled lineup.

RHP Shane Greene
Arb-eligible year:
First of three
2017 salary: $550,600
Projected 2018 salary (per MLBTradeRumors.com): $1.7 million

Greene's ascension to the Tigers' closer role, and his ability to thrive in it, came at a good time for the 29-year-old. Like Castellanos, Greene is expected to become a focus of trade interest in time, potentially as soon as this offseason. But until then, he stands to be the reigning veteran in what's shaping up to be a young relief corps.

SS Jose Iglesias
Arb-eligible year:
Third and final
2017 salary: $4.1 million
Projected 2018 salary (per MLBTradeRumors.com): $5.6 million

Iglesias had been speculated as a non-tender candidate as the Tigers look for playing time for young Dixon Machado while shedding salary. With the club fielding trade interest in second baseman Ian Kinsler, however, Iglesias is expected to be tendered a contract while Detroit sorts out its 2018 infield. He will still end up a trade candidate, as he was last offseason.

Video: MIN@DET: Iglesias makes great over the shoulder catch

C James McCann
Arb-eligible year:
First of three
2017 salary: $552,100
Projected 2018 salary (per MLBTradeRumors.com): $2.3 million

McCann set career highs at the plate with a .733 OPS, 13 home runs and 49 RBIs, but it's his defense and his work with pitchers that has him poised for a leadership role in a young clubhouse. He'll return as the Tigers' mainstay behind the plate, with John Hicks likely to back him up.

Rondon
Arb-eligible year:
Second
2017 salary: $850,000
Projected 2018 salary (per MLBTradeRumors.com): $1.2 million

Five seasons have passed since Rondon was branded the Tigers' future closer. He has seven Major League saves and a 5.00 ERA in 123 appearances since then, and has yet to spend a full season in the big leagues. What he still has is relative youth, a strong right arm, glimpses of solid relief and a new coaching staff to potentially help him figure things out. With Ron Gardenhire now managing, Chris Bosio as pitching coach and the bullpen looming as a construction project in Spring Training, Rondon will likely get another chance to make an impression with a new staff. The Tigers could still release him in Spring Training and pay a fraction of his salary.

RHP Alex Wilson
Arb-eligible year:
Second of three
2017 salary: $1,175,000
Projected 2018 salary (per MLBTradeRumors.com): $2.1 million

Wilson had an up-and-down season before it ended in mid-September with a broken right fibula. He should be ready in time for Spring Training. The 31-year-old's projected salary could make him the highest-paid member of the bullpen, but his versatility, his potential trade value in a rebound season and his veteran presence in a relief corps lacking in experience make him a reliever the Tigers would struggle to replace.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Detroit Tigers, Bruce Rondon