Avila: Tigers unlikely to add more big contracts

OFFSEASON: Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila talks to media after introducing Jordan Zimmermann on Nov. 30. (Detroit Free Press photo)

OFFSEASON: Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila talks to media after introducing Jordan Zimmermann on Nov. 30. (Detroit Free Press photo)

DETROIT — At this point, the Tigers have made all of their big offseason moves.

At this point, general manager Al Avila said Wednesday afternoon, signing right-handed starter Jordan Zimmermann is the biggest of those moves.

And at this point, Avila reiterated, it’s unlikely the team will add another big contract.

“We’ve got a lot of big contracts already within our own team, and we feel good about the team moving forward,” Avila told Free Press columnist Drew Sharp and Matt Dery in a lengthy interview on WMGC-FM (105.1). “So, I’d say at this point, we’re pretty satisfied with the makeup of the team and the outlook so far.”

Avila was answering specifically to the inquisition of their future interest in outfielders Yoenis Cespedes and Alex Gordon, should their markets stay stalled and owner Mike Ilitch get the itch to put the team over the top with another long-term, lucrative signing.

“I can’t speak for the owner,” Avila said. “But I know where we’re at right now, and our payroll, I can tell you, is probably one of the top five in all of baseball, which is a pretty good payroll with some of the top names in the game. So, I don’t know how much more you can expect from that, but that, I think, is a lot.”

As it stands, the leftfield situation will consist of either Anthony Gose or Cameron Maybin and Tyler Collins.

Cespedes, 30, played 102 games with the Tigers before they shuttled him away at the trade deadline. He hit .291 with 35 home runs and 105 RBIs between the Tigers and Mets this past season.

He had a desire to return to the Latin-laden clubhouse in Detroit as recently as last summer, according to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, and his free agency so far hasn’t created the kind of buzz indicative of his five-tool abilities, leaving in question the chance the Tigers would consider a reunion later this offseason.

But, Avila said, another big contract would make the team’s payroll situation “pretty ugly.” He said it’s unlikely the team will trot out the highest payroll in baseball next season.

“That’s nothing I’m recommending,” he said. “Believe me.”

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Posted by Tribune News Services

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