Tigers agree with 4 arb-eligibles (sources)

Detroit Tigers

The Tigers avoided salary arbitration Friday with half of their eight remaining arbitration-eligible players, reaching agreements on one-year contracts with infielder Niko Goodrum and pitchers Buck Farmer, Joe Jiménez and Daniel Norris, according to sources.
Still to be determined are pitchers Matthew Boyd and José Cisnero, infielder Jeimer Candelario and

The Tigers avoided salary arbitration Friday with half of their eight remaining arbitration-eligible players, reaching agreements on one-year contracts with infielder Niko Goodrum and pitchers Buck Farmer, Joe Jiménez and Daniel Norris, according to sources.

Still to be determined are pitchers Matthew Boyd and José Cisnero, infielder Jeimer Candelario and center fielder JaCoby Jones. Friday is the day for teams and arbitration-eligible players to exchange salary proposals if they can’t reach an agreement.

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Norris and the Tigers agreed at a $3,475,000 salary, according to a source. Norris, who will turn 28 in April, enters his final season before free agency without an established role. The left-hander was set to open last season in the rotation before the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown and then missed Summer Camp and the start of the season after testing positive. Norris will get a chance to compete as a starter in Spring Training but seems more likely to end up in the bullpen as a multi-inning reliever. He was slated to make $2.96 million last year before the season was shortened.

Farmer settled with the Tigers at a $1,850,000 salary, according to a source. The right-hander, who will turn 30 next month, has been a workhorse in Detroit’s bullpen the past three seasons, including 23 games and 21 1/3 innings last year as the Tigers’ primary setup man. He and the Tigers agreed at $1.15 million last year.

Jiménez and Goodrum were interesting situations, both hitting arbitration eligibility coming off the worst seasons of their brief careers and heading into uncertain roles going forward.

In his first year of arbitration eligibility, Jiménez agreed to a $1.5 million salary, according to reports. The right-hander, who will turn 26 on Sunday, opened the 2020 season as Detroit’s closer, but his struggles forced him into situational work to try to find better form. Jiménez finished with five saves and a 7.15 ERA in 25 appearances and allowed seven home runs over 22 2/3 innings.

Goodrum and the Tigers agreed to a $2.1 million salary, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman. Goodrum, who will turn 29 next month, began the 2020 season as Detroit’s starting shortstop but ended it at second base after Willi Castro took over. Goodrum was statistically the Tigers’ strongest defensive shortstop since José Iglesias left, but the switch-hitter’s .184 batting average was by far his career low. Goodrum finished with more than twice as many strikeouts (69) as hits (29), while adding five home runs, 20 RBIs and a .598 OPS.

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

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