Tigers exercise Avila's $5.4 million option

DETROIT (AP) Alex Avila's $5.4 million option for 2015 has been exercised by the Detroit Tigers.

Avila, who turns 28 in January, hit .218 with 11 home runs and 47 RBIs last season, although concussion problems have become a concern over the last couple years. Detroit would have owed him a $200,000 buyout if it had declined the option.

In 2014, Avila fell 43 plate appearances short of a $100,000 escalator for next season. Avila has been unable to repeat his terrific season of 2011, when he hit .295 with 19 home runs, but he has a career on-base percentage of .345 and can hit with power. He's also respected for his defense.

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