Detroit Tigers sign Spencer Turnbull to two-year, $3.65 million deal, avoiding arbitration

Detroit Free Press

TAMPA, Fla. — Detroit Tigers right-hander Spencer Turnbull no longer has anything to worry about within his organization, other than making a full recovery from Tommy John surgery.

Turnbull and the Tigers agreed to a two-year, $3.65 million contract Tuesday morning, avoiding an arbitration hearing, a source with knowledge of the financial details told the Free Press.

The 29-year-old will earn $1.5 million in 2022, then $2.15 million in 2023. He can add up to $125,000 in performance bonuses in 2023, when he is expected to be healthy for the start of the season.

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The two sides initially failed to strike a deal at the March 22 deadline for arbitration-eligible players to sign contracts for the 2022 season. He will be arbitration eligible again in 2024, his final year before becoming a free agent.

Before the extension, Turnbull and the Tigers were over $700,000 apart in negotiations, with Turnbull asking to receive $2.1 million for 2022 and the Tigers offering $1.325 million for 2022.

MORE ON TURNBULL: His year ran the gamut: From no-hitter to Tommy John surgery

Had they not reached an agreement, Turnbull would have been required to attend an arbitration hearing — where a panel of arbiters would choose one side or the other — at some point during the regular season.

He is expected to miss the entire 2022 campaign.

Turnbull is recovering from Tommy John surgery in late July. He threw  the eighth no-hitter in franchise history in May and  finished 2021 with a 2.88 ERA, 12 walks and 44 strikeouts over 50 innings in nine starts.

His 1.5 fWAR led the team’s starting pitchers.

Contact Evan Petzold at or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. Read more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter.

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