March 17, 2013
Due to the Detroit Tigers' spendthrift habits of late on the free agent market it seems as though they are at a crossroads with budding star Austin Jackson. In my opinion, it is time to extend Jackson on a long-term deal before the price tag gets too high.
Recent players to get such deals include the Cardinals' Allen Craig and Chicago's Chris Sale. As for Jackson, he recently graduated from a league minimum player into the first of his three arbitration-eligible years. AJ will get $3.5M to patrol Comerica Park's center field and bat leadoff for Jim Leyland this summer. As it stands now, Jackson has two more arbitration years coming his way before he enters free agency prior to the 2016 season. At that time he'll be entering his age-29 season, and when you consider his career trajectory to this point, he could be seeking mega dollars.
It would behoove the Tigers to buy out the last two years of his arbitration rights on a deal similar to what Craig and Sale were given....