Sports

Jeimer Candelario Has Quietly Emerged As A Star For The Tigers

Jeimer Candelario #46 of the Detroit Tigers doubles on a line drive to Edward Olivares #14 of the Kansas City Royals during the bottom of the sixth inning at Comerica Park on September 25, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan.
(Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

 

The Detroit Tigers are in the midst of a major rebuild.

The team hasn’t made the playoff since 2014 and hasn’t had a winning season since 2016.

But in the 2021 regular season, the organization showed signs of growth.

It posted its best record since 2016, and some future stars emerged along the way.

While some of those rising stars got a lot of attention throughout the year, one in particular didn’t get enough attention nationally.

We’re talking about Jeimer Candelario.

 

Over The Past 2 Seasons, Candelario Has Taken A Major Step Forward

Candelario made his MLB debut in 2016, but it took him a few years to find his footing at the big-league level.

That changed in 2020 when he had a fantastic showing during the COVID-shortened season.

Over 52 games, he slashed .297/.369/.503.

He finished with an OPS+ of 137 and bWAR of 2.0, meaning that he was on pace for a bWAR of 6.2 over a 162-game sample.

He also racked up 21 extra-base-hits in 2020.

Then, in 2021, he kept things rolling.

He finished the regular season with a slash line of .271/.351/.443.

He led the league in doubles with 42, and he also smacked 16 home runs and three triples.

The 27-year-old registered a 122 OPS+, 119 wRC+, and bWAR of 3.7.

He finished the year on a tear, too.

He posted an OPS of .904 from September 1 onward.

Overall, over the past seasons, he’s batting .278 with an OPS of .814 and OPS+ of 125.

 

Looking At Candelario’s Contract Situation

The Tigers have Candelario under club control for a couple more years, but it’s time for the organization to start thinking about giving him a new deal.

He’s clearly on a great trajectory, and if the team wants to reach its goal of becoming a perennial contender, Candelario is the type of player Detroit needs to keep around.

Right now, he’s under club control until 2024.

That means the team will only have two more seasons with the rising star if it fails to give him a new contract.

The Tigers can’t let that happen.

 

What Could A New Deal Look Like?

When looking at Candelario’s contract situation, it’s interesting to picture what a new deal might look like.

Keep in mind, he’s still relatively young.

Tigers writer David Rumptz recently offered his take on what a reasonable expectation for a deal could be.

“I imagine a deal for the Third Baseman would be similar to Jonathon Schoop’s new deal in which he is making $15 million over the next two seasons,” Rumptz wrote. “I would not be surprised if it was a three year deal worth around $22-25 million. This would put him in the middle of the pack for third basemen salary-wise. His deal would be similar to Eduardo Escobar, who signed a three-year $21 million contract after his age 28 season. Escobar is a comparable player to Candelario and a similar deal would be beneficial for both Candelario and the Tigers.”

That gives us a decent feel for the ballpark that Candelario and the Tigers might land in.

Candelario isn’t an elite player at this juncture, but he certainly has the potential to get there.

That’s one of the biggest reasons why Detroit needs to take out the checkbook.

 

Wrap-Up

Tigers fans are longing to see postseason baseball again.

Even bigger than that, they’re longing to see a World Series title for the first time since 1984.

Many Tigers fans weren’t even alive the last time the organization won it all, and it’s time for that to change.

Candelario is one of many players that represents a bright future in Detroit.

It’s time for the team to pay him as such.



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