J.D. Martinez looks to be staying with the Detroit Tigers.
The 28-year-old outfielder, who was eligible for arbitration through next year and can become a free agent after the 2017 World Series, has reportedly agreed to an $18.5 million, two-year contract with the team.
A person with knowledge of the deal spoke Monday night on condition of anonymity because the agreement has not been announced.
Martinez, coming off his first All-Star season, had asked for a raise from $3 million to $8 million for this season and the Tigers had submitted an offer of $6 million when the sides exchanged proposed arbitration salaries last month.
The Miami native of Cuban descent batted .282 with 38 home runs and 102 RBIs last season. He hit 23 homers in 2014 after he was released by Houston during spring training and the Tigers signed him.
Martinez is part of what looks like a formidable batting order for the Tigers, who signed free agent outfielder Justin Upton last month in an effort to extend their window of opportunity to win a World Series. Miguel Cabrera remains one of the game's top hitters, and Detroit is hoping Victor Martinez can rebound from a disappointing 2015.
“I love this team and I want to be a part of this team,” Martinez said before the Winter Caravan last month, according to the Detroit News. “I want to be a Tiger for life…This team gave me my opportunity, so I would love to stay here as long as I can and finish my career next to Miggy (Cabrera) and Victor (Martinez). That would be awesome.”
Detroit finished in the AL Central cellar last season after winning the previous four division titles.
The team's long-term future still looks uncertain, with Cabrera and Justin Verlander in their 30s. J.D. Martinez, Upton and Anibal Sanchez could all become free agents after the 2017 season.
Sanchez has a $16 million team option for 2018, and Upton can opt out of his new six-year deal after 2017.
J.D. Martinez's rise has been one of the most pleasant surprises for the Tigers over the past two years. He showed decent power in three years with the Astros but struggled to get on base consistently. Detroit was able to acquire him on a minor league contract in March 2014, and since being called up to the majors early that season, he's been a force with the bat.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.