By Ashley Dunkak
The Detroit Tigers passed up the chance to make $14.1 million qualifying offers to their seven free agents, letting Monday’s deadline pass without making any moves.
If a team makes a qualifying offer to a free agent and he signs elsewhere, the team receives a compensating draft choice. If the team does not offer and the player goes to another team, there is no compensation.
That said, the Tigers do not have any free agents worth $14.1 million per year, so the choice to not make offers was obvious.
Among the team’s most highly paid free agents are reliever Joaquin Benoit, second baseman Omar Infante and shortstop Jhonny Peralta. Benoit made $5.5 million in 2013, while Infante earned $4 million and Peralta got paid $6 million.
Peralta will likely not return because the Tigers have already invested in young shortstop Jose Iglesias, and Detroit could possibly let Infante go and use another young infielder, Hernan Perez, in his place.
Benoit might be the most likely be back with the Tigers, ideally in his original role as a setup man instead of closer, a position he got by default in 2013.
Backup catcher Brayan Pena already announced on Twitter that the Tigers will not bring him back, and relievers Octavio Dotel and Jeremy Bonderman, who saw limited time with the team, respectively, with probably not return either. The only other Detroit free agent is infielder Ramon Santiago, who proved a valuable piece because of his versatility, but the Tigers might be able to find someone of similar ability for less money.