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J.D. Martinez, Tigers Agree to New Contract: Latest Details, Comments. Reaction

Detroit Tigers' J.D. Martinez bats against the Chicago White Sox in the seventh inning of a baseball game in Detroit Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/Associated Press
Danny WebsterAnalyst IIIFebruary 9, 2016

The Detroit Tigers agreed to terms on a new two-year, $18.5 million deal with All-Star outfielder J.D. Martinez on Monday to avoid arbitration, according to Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.

Martinez was an All-Star for the first time in 2015, his second year with the Tigers after spending the first three seasons of his big league career with the Houston Astros. He played in a career-high 158 games and hit a career-high 38 home runs while batting .282.

After hitting 24 homers combined in three seasons with the Astros, Martinez has developed into one of the game's best hitters with the Tigers, hitting 61 home runs and driving in 178 runs.

Jennifer Hammond of Fox 2 noted that Martinez was seeking a deal in the ballpark of $8 million per year last month, but he will be getting $9.25 million per season instead.

Detroit needed every bit of Martinez's production at the plate in a lackluster year for the team. One year after finishing second in the league in runs scored, Detroit finished 15th while falling to last place in the American League Central.

Two-time MVP Miguel Cabrera hit only 18 home runs last year, his lowest output since his rookie year. Yoenis Cespedes also hit 18 home runs for Detroit before the team traded him to the New York Mets at the trade deadline.

“I want to be a Tiger for life," Martinez said Jan. 31, per McCosky. "This team gave me my opportunity, so I would love to stay here as long as I can and finish my career next to Miggy (Cabrera) and Victor (Martinez). That would be awesome.”

Martinez's deal means the Tigers have their outfield set for 2016. Detroit signed Justin Upton to a six-year, $132.5 million contract in January and also acquired Cameron Maybin in a trade with the Atlanta Braves on Nov. 20.

The Tigers will be looking for redemption in 2016, and locking up their best offensive player for the next two years is a step in the right direction.

 

Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and ESPN.com.

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