Avila hopeful Tigers, Martinez can avoid arbitration

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Detroit — Tigers general manager Al Avila said there was nothing new in the negotiations with right fielder J.D. Martinez.

“I can’t comment on the negotiations, but there is nothing new to say,” Avila said during the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association luncheon Wednesday. “I still have hope that we can get something done.”

Unless an agreement is reached on a contract extension, Martinez will go before an MLB arbitration panel sometime in early February. The Tigers are offering $6 million for 2016 and Martinez is looking for $8 million.

Either way, Martinez is under club control this season and next. The Tigers haven’t had a player go to arbitration since 2003, but Avila downplayed that.

“That doesn’t really play into this,” he said. “The media makes more of that than what it is. We’ve been fortunate enough where two sides can negotiate and come to an agreement, and that’s fine.

“But it’s more of a media thing. If you have to go (to arbitration), then you have to go. But, we’d rather not. We’ve been able to do deals in the past, so, we’ll see.”