Tuesday March 5th, 2024 3:09AM

Tigers give a $28.6 million, 6-year deal to 22-year-old infield prospect Colt Keith

By The Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Tigers made an unusual bet on a player with no major league experience, agreeing Sunday to a six-year contract with 22-year-old Colt Keith that guarantees the infield prospect $28,642,500.

His deal includes three team options that could make it worth $64 million over nine seasons, and there are escalators that could increase the value to $82 million over nine years.

Keith is ranked the No. 22 big league prospect by MLB.com.

A left-handed-hitting third baseman and second baseman, Keith is from Zanesville, Ohio, and was a fifth-round pick in the 2020 amateur draft out of Biloxi High School in Mississippi.

He hit .325 with 14 homers and 50 RBIs in 59 games last year for Double-A Erie, then was promoted to Triple-A Toledo on June 26 and batted .287 with 13 homers and 51 RBIs in 67 games.

Keith gets a $2 million signing bonus, payable with half on Feb. 15 and half on March 15, and salaries of $2.5 million in 2024, $3.5 million in 2025, $4 million each in 2026 and ‘27, and $5 million apiece in 2028 and ’29. Detroit has a $10 million option for 2030 with a $2,642,500 buyout, a $13 million option for 2031 with a $1 million buyout and a $15 million option for 2032 with a $2 million buyout.

His salaries could escalate to maximums of $13 million in 2030, $19 million in 2031 and $24 million in 2032.

His salaries for 2030-32 could rise by up to $3 million based on his accomplishments from 2024-29: $3 million for MVP, $1 million for second or third in MVP voting; $500,000 for fourth or fifth, $250,000 for sixth through 10th or for winning a Silver Slugger; $100,000 for getting voted an All-Star starter; or $50,000 for getting selected an All-Star reserve.

His salary for 2031 and '32 could rise by up to $3 million based on his accomplishments in 2030 and for 2032 by his accomplishments in 2031, both based on the same criteria.

Milwaukee agreed last month to an $82 million, eight-year contract with 19-year-old outfielder Jackson Chourio, the largest contract for a prospect with no major league service.

Detroit has had losing records in seven straight seasons. The Tigers have not won a World Series since 1984 and have not won an AL pennant since 2012.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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