Jose Iglesias, Tigers reach $1.65 million deal

Jared Wickerham

Iglesias is coming off a nice rookie season, but needed a new contract for the 2014 season.

The Detroit Tigers have signed shortstop Jose Iglesias to a one year deal worth $1.65 million, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

Iglesias, 24, is not yet eligible for arbitration -- and won't be for another two years -- but still needed a new contract from the Tigers for 2014. Typically pre-arbitration players are signed for a little over the minimum given they have little say over a deal when they are still under team control. There can be some wiggle room, but the choice for a player is, for all intents and purposes, either take the contract or don't play that season.

Iglesias, however, is coming off a Major League contract valued at $8.75 million over four years that he signed with the Red Sox as a free agent out of Cuba in 2009. Detroit likely did not want to offer a contract too far below what he had been making, especially given how he performed last season.

The Tigers acquired Iglesias as part of a three-team deal near the 2013 trade deadline that saw the team send outfield prospect Avisail Garcia to the White Sox, who shipped Jake Peavy to Boston. Iglesias finished second in Rookie of the Year voting to Wil Myers, 131 votes to 80.

At the plate, Iglesias has his question marks. He surprised in 63 games with the Red Sox last year as he hit .303/.349/.386, but fell back to a .259/.306/.348 line with the Tigers and finished the season with a 735 OPS. His batting line, particularly in Boston, was mostly held up by a high batting average on balls in play, which indicates he may have been getting lucky. In 294 career minor league games, he posted a 622 OPS.

While he may not be much of an asset at the plate, Iglesias is arguably already the best defensive shortstop in the league right up with Andrelton Simmons. Iglesias made numerous top-10 lists with his glove-work while being a steady hand up the middle of the field.

The Tigers will still have control over Iglesias through the 2018 season, though he won't hit arbitration until 2016.

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