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

By The Associated Press
Posted 11:49AM on Sunday 28th January 2024 ( 2 months ago )

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

FILE - This is a 2023 photo of Colt Keith of the Detroit Tigers baseball team. This image reflects the Tigers active roster as of Friday, Feb. 24, 2023, when this image was taken in Lakeland, Fla. The Tigers made an unusual bet on a player with no major league experience, agreeing Sunday, Jan. 28, 2024 to a six-year contract with 22-year-old Colt Keith that guarantees the infield prospect $28,642,500. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, file)

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