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Tigers agree with Boyd, all arb-eligibles (source)

@beckjason
January 10, 2020

DETROIT -- The Tigers will not have an arbitration hearing to worry about this offseason, instead reaching agreements with its remaining four arb-eligible players ahead of Friday’s deadline for exchanging salary proposals. Sources confirmed to MLB.com that Detroit reached agreements on one-year contracts with: Left-hander Matthew Boyd: $5.3 million Left-hander

DETROIT -- The Tigers will not have an arbitration hearing to worry about this offseason, instead reaching agreements with its remaining four arb-eligible players ahead of Friday’s deadline for exchanging salary proposals.

Sources confirmed to MLB.com that Detroit reached agreements on one-year contracts with:

Left-hander Matthew Boyd: $5.3 million
Left-hander Daniel Norris: $2,962,500
Right-hander Buck Farmer: $1.15 million
Outfielder JaCoby Jones: $1.575 million

The deals come together a year after Michael Fulmer and the Tigers went to a hearing, Detroit’s first since Chris Holt in 2001. Fulmer and the Tigers reached a one-year, $2.8 million contract earlier this week to avoid arbitration this time around.

All four deals Friday were expected. The bigger question with Boyd was whether the two sides would discuss a longer-term contract to at least cover his remaining two arbitration seasons. The two sides could still discuss a deal beyond this season; Friday’s deal at least avoids the procedure of exchanging salary figures and scheduling a potential hearing.

Boyd emerged as the Tigers’ ace last season, tossing a team-high 185 1/3 innings and 32 starts to go with a 4.56 ERA. He earned nine of Detroit’s 47 wins while ranking sixth among American League pitchers with 238 strikeouts. His 4.76 strikeout-to-walk ratio ranked fourth among AL hurlers. Though the Tigers listened to trade interest at last July’s Trade Deadline and this offseason, they’re expected to hold onto the 28-year-old and look for another season of improvement.

Norris, arbitration eligible for the second time, avoided arbitration last year with a one-year, $1,275,000 deal. The 26-year-old left-hander’s first fully healthy season saw him progress from Detroit’s bullpen into a rotation spot. Though innings limits held him to three-inning starts over the final two months of last season, he posted a 2.25 ERA over his final eight outings, including three scoreless innings at Houston in an eventual Tigers win over former teammate Justin Verlander. The Tigers are hoping Norris can carry the progress into 2020 and grow into a front-line starter.

Farmer and Jones were eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter.

Jones, who qualified as a Super-Two player with two years and 125 days of Major League service time, posted a career-best .740 OPS in 88 games last year, batting .235 with 19 doubles, 11 home runs and 26 RBIs. He was one of Detroit’s best offensive catalysts for a five-week stretch, batting .354 (34-for-96) with five home runs, 15 RBIs and 15 runs scored from May 24 to June 25, before a hit-by-pitch fractured his left wrist and ended his 2019 campaign. He’s expected to open the season as Detroit’s starting center fielder.

Farmer was one of the few bright spots in the Tigers' bullpen, posting a 3.72 ERA, 15 holds and 73 strikeouts over 67 2/3 innings as he ascended into a right-handed setup role by season’s end. He’ll continue to receive late-inning work this coming season while bullpen prospect Bryan Garcia learns on the job.

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