They are ranked 10th in payroll, so they have money and are able to spend it, but they can't miss as much as teams like the Phillies or Yankees.They have shown to be Jekyll and Hyde when it comes to salary efficiency. They have really missed bad on some big money players, or they have just been having down years, while some young players being paid almost nothing are huge contributors for the recently clinched AL Central Champions.
Alex Aliva has an amazing WASP of 78.7, even better than Mike Stanton's. He was the starting catcher in the All-Star game for the American League at age 24. He has an OBP of .388, an OPS of .902, a .220 Isolated Slugging (for comparison, David Ortiz has a .265, Evan Longoria a .250, and Carlos Lee a .180), .367 average on balls put in play, and has created 86.5 runs for the Tigers.
Their ace, Cy Young favorite, and MVP candidate Justin Verlander is at a very good 1593 WASP. I have already written about Doug Fister and his amazing WASP, and Austin Jackson has an awesome 440 WASP.Their high paid slugger Miguel Cabrera is around the Halladay Standard at 3174.
Valverde the closer who has been perfect in save opportunities has a Halladay Standard WASP of around 3000 as well.
Some of their big disappointments have been Magglio Ordonez who has a terrible 39000 WASP, Victor Martinez is also overpaid at 4800 and Brandon Inge's is a horrific 14850.
Good trades and development, along with some extra cash, have outweighed the Tigers bad free agent contracts.