The Detroit Tigers have announced that they have agreed to terms with right handed reliever Joel Zumaya on a one year contract, avoiding salary arbitration. The deal calls for Zumaya to receive $1.4 million in 2011.
Zumaya has electric stuff, but a long and terrible injury history. After making 62 appearances in 2006, he's averaged just under 32 innings a year since. The stats and peripheral measures match his stuff, but as always health is the primary concern.
In 2010, making 31 appearances and pitching 38.1 innings, Zumaya posted an ERA of 2.58 while striking out 34 batters, walking just 11. He was the pitcher of record three times, getting the credit for a pair of Tiger victories and saving another.
Zumaya made $915,000 last season. The $1.4 million deal represents a 53% raise for Zumaya in his third and final year of arbitration eligibility. Should he remain healthy in 2011, he'll be a much sought after reliever on the free agent market next off season.
Detroit has only one arbitration eligible player remaining, Armando Galarraga. The team previously agreed on a two year deal with Ryan Raburn. Tomorrow is the deadline to sign players before figures are exchanged between players and clubs for the arbitration process. We'll have full coverage of the signing frenzy to come.
Joe Tetreault is Managing Editor of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He can be contacted here through The Biz of Baseball
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