Detroit Tigers avoid arbitration with remaining two eligible players: José Cisnero, Rony García

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Tigers have agreed to terms with their remaining two arbitration-eligible players.

Right-handed relievers José Cisnero and Rony García signed one-year contracts Friday, avoiding arbitration, and locking in salaries for the 2023 season, the team announced. Cisnero settled at $2.2875 million — according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman — in his third and final year of eligibility, while it is unclear what Garcia’s salary will be this year, his first of eligibility.

Cisnero, a high-leverage reliever, will be a free agent after the 2023 campaign. Over the past three seasons, the 33-year-old posted a 2.94 ERA with 60 walks (12.2% walk rate) and 119 strikeouts (24.1% strikeout rate) in 116⅓ innings across 124 games.

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The Tigers, led by new president of baseball operations Scott Harris, started the offseason with 13 arbitration-eligible players: Cisnero, García, Drew Hutchison, Joe Jiménez, Jeimer Candelario, Victor Reyes, Austin Meadows, Harold Castro, Gregory Soto, Tyler Alexander, Willi Castro, Kyle Funkhouser and Miguel Díaz.

Meadows and Alexander avoided arbitration in mid-November for $4.3 million and $1.875 million, respectively. Meadows, who becomes a free agent after the 2024 season, completed his second year of the arbitration process, while Alexander completed his first year.

The Tigers removed Hutchison (projected for $1.8 million), Candelario (projected for $7 million), Reyes ($2.2 million), Funkhouser ($800,000) and both Castros (Harold, $2.6 million; Willi, $1.7 million) from the organization. The Tigers also cut Díaz (projection unclear) but re-signed him to a minor-league contract.

The Tigers traded Jiménez (projected for $2.6 million) on Dec. 7 to the Atlanta Braves for Justyn-Henry Malloy and Jake Higginbotham, then traded Soto (projected for $3.1 million) on Jan. 7 to the Philadelphia Phillies for Matt Vierling, Nick Maton and Donny Sands).

Jiménez and Soto avoided arbitration Friday with their new teams.

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From the initial list of 13 players, the Tigers avoided arbitration with four players: Meadows, Alexander, Cisnero and García.

The Tigers also agreed Friday to contracts with all pre-arbitration-eligible players on contracts for the 2023 season, a formality for players not yet eligible to negotiate their salaries. They will earn around the league-minimum salary, set for $720,000.

Contact Evan Petzold at or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.

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