Late last week, Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila said that the team has interest in an extension with outfielder J.D. Martinez, according to Chris Iott of MLive.com. Avila would not discuss if the Tigers had approached Martinez about a deal.
"I don't really want to get into our conversations with the players or their agents at this point," Avila said. "Usually we don't make those comments. I can tell you we would have interest in something like that."
Martinez made $3 million this past season, and his entering his second year of arbitration eligibility. MLB Trade Rumors arbitration projections peg the 28-year-old for $7.8 million in 2016. If he continues to perform at a high level, he should be due for one more huge pay bump in 2017 before hitting the free agent market following that season.
In terms of what a potential extension could look like for Martinez, there aren't a ton of power hitting outfielders to use as a base. Adam Jones received a six year, $85.5 million extension and Alex Gordeon received a four year, $50 million extension; both while they were in the 4+ service class.
Last year, Martinez hit .282 with 38 home runs, 102 RBI's. His presence in the lineup allows the pressure to be taking off a guy like Miguel Cabrera, giving the Tigers another huge threat in their lineup.
The Tigers have brought this extension up at a really good time. They still have two seasons (including this upcoming one) of control, so if a deal can't be struck this offseason it can always be brought up again next winter. If not, Detroit could look to unload Martinez if their rebuild isn't going according to plan. Starting this conversation now allows the Tigers to be ahead of the game, just in case they can't get something done.