First off, congrats to the Tigers for making it to the World Series. They've been playing great and I'm looking forward to a fun final.
I didn't want to put this into the season thread and break any momentum you guys have going there. But, eventually the offseason will come and there will be a few necessary things the Tigers will need to do with their roster and payroll.
One of those players is Austin Jackson. He enters this offseason as a first-time arbitration eligible player and will be eligible for FA following the 2015 season at 28 years old.
Since his first season as a Tiger (which already you guys are reaping the rewards from that trade), he's progressed well. Even though he had a setback in BAVG last year, his secondary numbers still rose. He's striking out less while walking more. He's making better hard contact as well as reaching base more often - therefore contributing to more runs and rbi's.
These are all nice upwards trends. The only thing he regressed in was with his baserunning as his SB total dropped while his CS rose rather dramatically. I'd wonder if he's having speed issues, but it doesn't seem so since he was still able to stretch out a good amount of 3Bs and play CF for the season.
Austin made a very team-friendly $500K this year. I'm assuming his arb number will be in the $1.5M range or so for 2013, and if he keeps progressing that number could end up as high as $7-$8M by the time 2015 comes along.
I'm wondering if it makes sense for the Tigers to try to tie him up now and possibly grab his first two seasons of free agency - locking him up thru 2017. There are two things that come into play of course. One being payroll constraints and budget with the other being having to deal with Scott Boras.
I doubt I'm alone in thinking this kid has a bright future with a good chance of going 20/20 next season. I'd like to see him a Tiger through his prime.
"Chuckie doesn't take on 2-0. Chuckie's hackin'." - Chuck Carr two days prior to being released by the Milwaukee Brewers