The Tigers were busy on Friday, exercising their $7 million club option on reliever Joakim Soria and officially extending qualifying offers to free agents Max Scherzer and Victor Martinez.
The decision to bring back Soria, who was acquired at the trade deadline in exchange for two prospects, is no surprise. The 30-year old struggled down the stretch for the Tigers (4.91 ERA in 13 appearances), but showed flashes of excellence for Texas earlier in the year, posting a 2.70 ERA in 35 appearances. He is expected to be the Tigers' setup man in front of Joe Nathan next season, and has closing experience if he has to step into the closer's role.
Scherzer and Martinez, two of the top free agents available on the market this year, will both decline the $15.3 million qualifying offers and test the open market. Scherzer is expected to get a megadeal as the prime starting pitcher on this year's market, while Martinez is looking for a four-year deal and has expressed interest in returning to the Tigers. Scherzer will draw interest from any team looking to make a high-end starting pitching addition, and will compete with free agent options like James Shields and Jon Lester on the open market. Martinez has been linked to the Mariners and White Sox in recent weeks.