DETROIT TIGER FANS!
For full access to all our areas, please register (free), there are areas that do not show up until you register and log-in.

DETROIT TIGER FANS!

A place for Detroit Tiger Fans to come together for a bit of fun
 
HomeHome  CalendarCalendar  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  RegisterRegister  MemberlistMemberlist  UsergroupsUsergroups  Log inLog in  
Please log in and join in the fun of game day threads (GDT) and in overall Tigers chat.
CONGRATS TO CABRERA AND HUNTER on winning 2013 Silver Slugger Awards!
DETROIT TIGERS - 2011, 2012 & 2013 AL CENTRAL DIVISION CHAMPS!

Share | 
 

 2011/2012 Off Season Tigers Foundation, needs and transactions

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
GoGetEmTigers
DTF1 ADMINISTRATOR Detroit Tiger
DTF1 ADMINISTRATOR Detroit Tiger
avatar

Female
Number of posts : 57424
Age : 58
Location : Eastern Ohio, near Wheeling WV
Favorite Current Tiger(s) : JV, Hunter, Jackson, Porcello, Avila (really ALL of em!)
Reputation : 20
Registration date : 2007-10-05

PostSubject: 2011/2012 Off Season Tigers Foundation, needs and transactions   Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:25 pm





Duquette looks at 2012 Tigers

10/16/11 - 02:15
Former general manager Jim Duquette looks at the offseason decisions the Tigers will ponder, but thinks they should return strong in 2012


Tigers have solid foundation on which to build
By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 10/21/11 4:45 PM ET

DETROIT -- Dave Dombrowski made the kinds of summer deals most general managers dream about. It didn't get him and the Tigers to the World Series, but it leaves him with a lot less to do this winter to gear up for another run.

It isn't so much less that they're going to sit on the sidelines this winter and watch the rest of baseball duke it out on free agents and trades, but it's enough that they can focus their efforts on one or two things that they really need in order to take the next step as a franchise.

If top prospect Jacob Turner cracks the rotation, the Tigers will have five starters under team control for at least the next three years, thanks in no small part to the arrival of Doug Fister, who is not even eligible for arbitration until next winter. Detroit's late-inning and setup relief is set for next year once they pick up closer Jose Valverde's option year.

The Tigers' middle of the batting order, second through fifth, is all but set for next season, assuming that they tender a contract to the arbitration-eligible Delmon Young in his final year before free agency. Their outfield is set, with Young and Brennan Boesch returning alongside Austin Jackson, giving the Tigers three starting outfielders age 26 or younger.

They return the reigning Major League batting champion in Miguel Cabrera, the American League pitching triple crown winner in Justin Verlander and the reigning Delivery Man of the Year, Valverde, at closer. Their three potential free-agent losses are all well into their 30s, and their departure would take more than $26 million off what was about a $106 million payroll this season.

How's that for a foundation? It's better than what they carried over from their World Series team in 2006, and it gave Dombrowski something to look forward to as he lamented the club's AL Championship Series loss last weekend.

"In 2006, we had a solid foundation -- probably not as solid as this going forward, though," Dombrowski said. "I mean, we have a real good young group of core players that are in their prime. We also know how fragile the game is as far as injuries are concerned and performances are concerned. If you tell me we'd stay healthy next year, I think we'll have a good club.

"We'll do some fine-tuning, I'm sure, try to get a little bit better. No, you're not satisfied by any means, but I do think we're in a position where you don't have to go out and make a bunch of huge moves, because your foundation's there."

Anything the Tigers do this offseason will have the purpose of complementing that foundation. Considering there isn't a particularly deep free-agent market, it's a good time to be looking to complement rather than build, whether at leadoff hitter, second base or third base.

That said, owner Mike Ilitch might have something bigger in mind, or at least be open to it.

"I want to be in a position to make one or two additions," Ilitch told Detroit News columnist Bob Wojnowski last month, "and generally, they're pretty big additions."

That quote resonates in Detroit, where there's some anticipation as to what the Tigers could do.

If they can find a hitter to put in the leadoff or second spot, and produce more RBI opportunities for Cabrera and Victor Martinez, that would be big. The most potent leadoff man on the market, Mets speedster Jose Reyes, is far from a complementary piece. He would be a very big addition, with a very big price tag.

The Tigers don't need a shortstop; they have a pretty good one already with Jhonny Peralta. But they could use a spark in the lineup. It would take quite a bit of maneuvering to make Reyes that spark, including a shift for Peralta. If Reyes is looking for a Carl Crawford type of contract, as some have suggested, he won't get it from Detroit. If Reyes is looking to stay with the Mets, as others have predicted, nobody with the Tigers will convince him otherwise.

Jimmy Rollins is another speedy shortstop from the National League East set to test free agency, but he turns 33 in late November, and he hasn't had an on-base percentage over .340 since 2008.

If the Tigers seek an offensive upgrade at third, there's Aramis Ramirez, the top third baseman on the market. A former Pirate, Ramirez knows Tigers bench coach Gene Lamont and hitting coach Lloyd McClendon, both former Bucs managers. Ramirez's bat would serve to extend the middle of the order, not top it.

The market for third basemen drops quite a bit from there. The market for second basemen doesn't even have a clear-cut top target. It's the type of field that could prompt the Tigers to explore the trade market first if they want it badly enough. That could especially apply to relief pitching, as Detroit could use a proven right-hander for a seventh-inning option.

They don't have to be forced into something, especially a bad contract, but they can pounce on an opportunity. Those are usually the situations in which Dombrowski has managed to shine.

"It's a good situation to be in," Dombrowski said of their foundation. "I mean, you'd rather be like that. But I also think you're going to do things to try to get better, too. ... A fine line separates clubs, so when you start getting content where you are, that can come back and haunt you. So that's not where we're going to be. I think we're going to be in a position where we'll look to get better."

CONTRACT ISSUES

Free agents:
IF Carlos Guillen, RF Magglio Ordonez, RHP Brad Penny, IF Ramon Santiago, RHP Valverde (club option)

Eligible for arbitration: LHP Phil Coke, IF/OF Don Kelly, RHP Rick Porcello, RHP Max Scherzer, LHP Brad Thomas, OF Young

A position-by-position look at where the 2011 roster stands going into 2012:

Catcher: Despite all of the bumps and bruises over the course the season, both regular and postseason, Alex Avila expects to be fine for next spring without offseason surgery. His return gives the Tigers their best stability at catcher since they traded Ivan Rodriguez, and their best young catcher since Lance Parrish nearly 30 years ago. The question now is how to back up the young All-Star. Detroit got through a season with Martinez as the primary designated hitter and second catcher, but after a cornucopia of injuries left Martinez hobbled in October, it's highly unlikely the Tigers are going to let him catch much again. So for Avila's own good, the Tigers have to look for a backup who can catch at least 30 games without much dropoff defensively. A good example might be former Tiger Gerald Laird, who went to the Cardinals and skillfully served as Yadier Molina's understudy.

First base: Cabrera is halfway through the eight-year, $152.3 million contract extension he signed soon after the Tigers traded for him, and by big league standards, he has earned every penny. Coming up on his 29th birthday, he's one of the most dangerous hitters in the game, and he has embraced first base well enough that the Tigers see him as one of the more underrated defenders in the AL. He'll have to watch his weight as he nears 30, but for somebody his size, he has no serious health issues. He could feasibly get a few more days at DH to get Martinez some days in the field.

Second base: The Tigers went through five -- count them, five -- starters here last year, including an Opening Day fielder who was optioned to Triple-A Toledo less than 4 1/2 weeks later (Will Rhymes) and replaced by a prospect who was traded 3 1/2 weeks after that (Scott Sizemore). Detroit has been unsettled at second since letting Placido Polanco walk after 2009. They would love to settle on somebody, but a look at the market shows how tough that might be. They could re-sign Ramon Santiago, who took the bulk of the work down the stretch, but up to this point, they've never seen him as a full-time starter, and he should have his pick of situations as a free agent. They could let Ryan Raburn focus on second full-time, since he's under contract, but his previous chances at full-time play didn't go as hoped. With the slick-fielding Danny Worth and Brandon Douglas the only prospects on the horizon, this could be a situation resolved with a trade.

Shortstop:
Peralta led AL shortstops in batting average and OPS, but his biggest surprise was a .988 fielding percentage that nearly led the league. With his 30th birthday coming up in May, there's no reason to think he doesn't have another standout season in him. The Tigers could conceivably decide it's worth moving him back to third base for an all-out run at Reyes or Rollins, but given the comfort level Peralta developed at short, it would probably take something that earth-shattering to unseat him.

Third base: Brandon Inge is under contract next season for $5.5 million. Whether he's starting is an entirely different question. This could be the most intriguing offseason decision for Detroit, more so than the move to designate him for assignment last summer. Inge batted .278 with a .799 OPS after returning in August from his Triple-A exile, but that came in limited starts and more games as a late-inning defensive replacement. His temporary replacement, Wilson Betemit, is unlikely to return after mixed results down the stretch and a spot on the bench for the playoffs.

Though Inge chose to stay in the organization after being designated in July, it's unlikely he'll want to stick around as a utility player for a full season if he can help it. Don Kelly can play third, but his versatility makes him more valuable in a utility role. If the Tigers see a chance to upgrade, Inge's contract probably won't hamstring them.

Outfield: Assuming the Tigers hold on to Young for his final year of arbitration before free agency -- and there's every reason to believe they will -- the Tigers could go into the offseason with their outfield already set, even as Ordonez faces an uncertain future following a re-fractured ankle. Boesch, lost for the stretch run with a torn ligament in his right thumb, should be good as new by the start of Spring Training and set to take over in right field. Young will have a contract year to try to set his value for the Tigers or another team as he tries to translate his comfort level in Detroit into full-season production.

Then there's Jackson, who will be trying to rebound from a struggling sophomore year at the plate to show that his stellar rookie numbers from 2010 weren't a fluke. If the Tigers add a leadoff hitter, Jackson will hit lower in the order. If Raburn isn't manning second base, he'll likely be mixed in as a fourth outfielder.

DH: Whether Martinez was the free-agent signing of the year depends in part on your view of Texas' Adrian Beltre, but it's indisputable that Martinez was the addition that propelled the Tigers back to the postseason. The fact that he drove in 103 runs with just 12 home runs on his stat sheet says plenty about his value moving forward, a run producer whether or not his power stays away. As long as he stays healthy -- and he isn't likely to catch much going forward in order to remain so -- he should have no problem approaching 100 RBIs again with a batting average well into the .300s.

Rotation: Not only did Detroit's Trade Deadline deal for Fister help seal the AL Central title down the stretch, it put the Tigers in position to potentially set their rotation for the long term. Add Fister to a pitching lineup of Verlander, Scherzer and Porcello, and the Tigers have at least four members of their rotation under team control for the next three years. Porcello faces questions about his long-term future, but his postseason performance answered some of those. If top prospect Turner wins the fifth rotation spot and replaces free agent Penny, he'll make it five starters locked up long-term, leaving the Tigers as happy outsiders on the pitching market. As it is, they'll still probably look for a veteran arm to at least compete for the fifth spot and buy time while Turner continues to mature, but the future of Tigers pitching is clearly on the horizon if they want it. Lefties Andy Oliver and Drew Smyly serve as extra starters while learning at Triple-A Toledo and Double-A Erie, respectively. So could David Pauley, who was an occasional starter in Seattle before his trade to Detroit.

Bullpen: That club option on closer Valverde for 2012 at $9 million looked like a potential conundrum going into the season, given the three-year contract for potential closer-in-waiting Joaquin Benoit. But after 52 saves in 52 chances between the regular season and playoffs, it's not looking like much of a decision now. And Valverde and Benoit are looking like a late-inning-lead lockdown duo for another season. The middle relief corps that would help carry leads through the seventh inning to Benoit is another issue. Coke's late-season success sets him as the primary lefty alongside Daniel Schlereth, but the Tigers have to figure out a right-handed middle man, which is where their lack of depth killed them in the ALCS. If they can count on Al Alburquerque staying healthy, he's the guy. If not, their other option is former first-rounder Ryan Perry, whose inconsistencies have lingered for the last two years.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://alwaysatiger.forumotion.com
GoGetEmTigers
DTF1 ADMINISTRATOR Detroit Tiger
DTF1 ADMINISTRATOR Detroit Tiger
avatar

Female
Number of posts : 57424
Age : 58
Location : Eastern Ohio, near Wheeling WV
Favorite Current Tiger(s) : JV, Hunter, Jackson, Porcello, Avila (really ALL of em!)
Reputation : 20
Registration date : 2007-10-05

PostSubject: Re: 2011/2012 Off Season Tigers Foundation, needs and transactions   Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:34 pm

Catching depth an issue for Tigers to consider
Finding a backup for Avila impacts other roster flexibility
By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 10/24/11 6:25 PM ET

DETROIT -- The Tigers will have their fair share of questions this offseason, from filling out the rotation to potential options atop the batting order to what to do at second base. Who's going to back up Alex Avila behind the plate seemingly doesn't register high on the list.

But for the Tigers to get back to the postseason, figuring out that situation is more important than many would think. It's not just about who backs up Detroit's best young catcher in three decades, but what that decision does to the rest of the roster.

The Tigers boasted one of the most versatile rosters in the American League in no small part because they didn't have a spot dedicated to a backup catcher. They ended up with Avila getting the most starts and innings behind the plate by a Tigers catcher in a season since Brad Ausmus in 2000, and the most starts, games and innings caught by an AL catcher this year. They also ended up with a catcher dealing with banged-up knees at season's end, mainly from the wear and tear of catching just about every day down the stretch after Victor Martinez sprained his left knee in early August.

Manager Jim Leyland admitted during the postseason that he played Avila more than he would have liked, obviously out of necessity. Avila, having downplayed his knee issues all postseason, said after the Tigers' season-ending loss in Game 6 of the AL Championship Series against the Rangers that he actually had played through tendinitis in his left knee since July. He managed the pain until he tweaked the knee again when he stepped on Robinson Cano's foot at first base during the AL Division Series against the Yankees. Playing through that led to tendinitis in his right knee, though on a supposedly smaller scale.

"We really beat him up a little bit more than I would have liked to," Leyland said during the ALCS. "But he's as tough as they come."

Avila wants to be in the lineup every day, though he isn't going to raise the same issue about it as Ivan Rodriguez did during his time in Detroit. Between Avila's all-around success and Martinez's late-season limitations, Avila ended up catching more innings and starting more than Rodriguez did in any of his five seasons in Detroit.

If Avila catches that much next year, the Tigers probably have a problem. The question facing Detroit is how to fill those extra starts. At the heart of that is whether Martinez, who turns 33 just before Christmas, will or should catch much again.

Martinez has three seasons left on his four-year, $50 million contract. His value lies more at the plate, taking advantage of Miguel Cabrera walks and RBI opportunities, than behind it, where his 26 starts marked his career low. Leyland talked about "three or four" different health issues with Martinez at season's end, from the knee to the bruised toe that took a foul tip in the regular season's final days or to the oblique injury he suffered in the playoffs. But there was no talk of surgery.

Martinez indicated after Game 6 that he expects to be able to catch in 2012. The challenge for the Tigers, the reason why they have to keep Martinez healthy as much as they can, is that if they lose him in the lineup, they effectively lose Cabrera as well. Take away Martinez, and the expectation is for opposing pitchers to work around Cabrera and put him on base if need be to take their chances against whoever's batting fifth -- or fourth, whatever the case may be.

The Tigers should have no problem finding a backup catcher if they so choose. They're usually available in abundance each winter. The last time they had to find a backup for an All-Star catcher, they ended up with Vance Wilson, who played an underrated role in 2006 before elbow problems ended his playing career. Fitting the roster is the real trick.

By having Martinez double as designated hitter and backup catcher, the Tigers not only had room for Don Kelly and Ryan Raburn, left- and right-handed hitters, respectively, who could play any outfield spot and multiple infield roles, they could carry another outfielder as well. That spot went to Casper Wells, Andy Dirks and Delmon Young at different times of the season.

The versatility allowed Leyland to platoon in the corner-outfield spots as well as second and third base. In fact, Leyland platooned more than maybe he even might have liked. If the Tigers add a true backup catcher, Leyland won't have that option as much.

They could look for a utility player who can catch semi-regularly and play another useful position, but those are rare. And those who do, such as Pittsburgh's Ryan Doumit, don't play a position the Tigers necessarily need. Doumit plays the outfield. Others usually play first base. Catchers just don't moonlight as, say, second or third basemen.

The Tigers have a former catcher turned third baseman in Brandon Inge, but he hasn't caught in a game since 2008, and with an extra year of age and a history that includes surgery on both knees two years ago, Inge's knees might be in rougher shape than Martinez's. Even as Avila racked up 18 consecutive starts and Inge shared third with Wilson Betemit, the Tigers never utilized Inge, considering him an emergency backstop. If they're going to do it next year, they'd likely have Inge prepare in the offseason for such a scenario.

One way or another, the Tigers' plans should become clear soon. The impact of their decision, either way, might not be.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://alwaysatiger.forumotion.com
GoGetEmTigers
DTF1 ADMINISTRATOR Detroit Tiger
DTF1 ADMINISTRATOR Detroit Tiger
avatar

Female
Number of posts : 57424
Age : 58
Location : Eastern Ohio, near Wheeling WV
Favorite Current Tiger(s) : JV, Hunter, Jackson, Porcello, Avila (really ALL of em!)
Reputation : 20
Registration date : 2007-10-05

PostSubject: Re: 2011/2012 Off Season Tigers Foundation, needs and transactions   Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:14 pm

Tigers exercise 2012 team option on Valverde
By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 10/28/11 12:36 PM ET

DETROIT -- Teams will spend the next three days announcing some difficult decisions on contract options. Jose Valverde's option won't be one of them.

For the Tigers, in fact, it was about as automatic as Valverde's save situations this year. So they didn't need to wait through the weekend to announce that they're picking up the right-hander's $9 million salary for next season.

Valverde's option was part of the two-year, $14 million deal he signed with the Tigers as a free agent before the 2010 season. It wasn't always looking like a certainty that the Tigers would pick it up. When Detroit signed Joaquin Benoit to a three-year, $15 million deal last fall, Benoit had the appearance of a closer-in-waiting. Then Valverde went 52-for-52 in save situations between the regular season and playoffs.

The Tigers reaped the benefits of having Benoit and Valverde as a late-inning duo this year, going 77-0 in games they led after seven innings and 83-0 after leading through eight. Another year with them at the back end of the bullpen gives Detroit a major advantage going into 2012.

Valverde's 49 saves set a new franchise record. By going 49-for-49 in save chances, the Big Potato not only obliterated Guillermo Hernandez's single-season Tigers mark of 32 consecutive saves, he posted the second-best perfect saves season in Major League history. Eric Gagne's 55-for-55 performance for the 2003 Dodgers is the only higher mark.

Valverde's saves weren't always easy, especially down the stretch. But in the end, the numbers were dominant. He allowed just 52 hits over 72 1/3 innings in the regular season, with 34 walks and 69 strikeouts. Opponents batted just .198 against him with five home runs.

The 49 saves and 70 games finished led Major League pitchers this year.

Break down the stats to just save situations, and Valverde's numbers were even stronger. He allowed just three earned runs on 26 hits over 49 innings, with 20 walks and 50 strikeouts. Two of those earned runs came on homers.

For those efforts, Valverde was named MLB Delivery Man of the Year earlier in October. He could end up with some AL Cy Young Award votes when the balloting results are released next month, though the award itself will most likely go to his Tigers teammate, Justin Verlander.

The contract option, obviously, is another recognition for what he means to this team. With 75 saves over two seasons in Detroit, Valverde has a strong chance to become just the fifth pitcher with 100 saves as a Tiger, joining Willie Hernandez, Todd Jones, Mike Henneman and John Hiller.

"I think we're both right-handed, but I think after that, the comparisons kind of go away," Jones said during the AL Division Series. "Jose has had an amazing year. He's an amazing closer. People don't really realize how hard 50 out of 50 saves is until you watched me or had a chance to go out there yourself.

"He's a fierce competitor, and I think everybody enjoys him in the clubhouse. Everybody on the team has said nothing but great things. He's just had an amazing year."

The results for a Tigers team that won its first division title since 1987 provided the substance behind a style that has made Valverde one of the game's unique personalities. Time and again, his save celebrations have delighted fans and irked opponents, whether it was a crossing of his arms or a dance around the mound. His superstitions before he throws a pitch have become ingrained in Tigers fans' memories.

"I don't know what I do [after the game]," Valverde said earlier this year. "You guys can tell me what I do, but I don't know. Somebody told me you do something different. I told him I have no idea what I'm doing. I swear to God. When I'm pitching, I'm not paying attention to what I'm doing. My mind is on doing my job quick and that's it."

With his option decided, he won't have to worry about his job for next year.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://alwaysatiger.forumotion.com
GoGetEmTigers
DTF1 ADMINISTRATOR Detroit Tiger
DTF1 ADMINISTRATOR Detroit Tiger
avatar

Female
Number of posts : 57424
Age : 58
Location : Eastern Ohio, near Wheeling WV
Favorite Current Tiger(s) : JV, Hunter, Jackson, Porcello, Avila (really ALL of em!)
Reputation : 20
Registration date : 2007-10-05

PostSubject: Re: 2011/2012 Off Season Tigers Foundation, needs and transactions   Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:15 pm

Tigers outright Santos, Thomas to Toledo
By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 10/31/11 2:20 PM ET

DETROIT -- The Tigers cleared space on their 40-man roster and added to their free-agent list on Monday by outrighting the contracts of catcher Omir Santos and reliever Brad Thomas to Triple-A Toledo.

The procedural move essentially makes Toledo a stopover for them. They'll become Minor League free agents later in the week, free to talk with any Major League team. While the Tigers could re-sign either of them, notably Santos, they'll likely search for better opportunities elsewhere.

Santos essentially served his purpose as an insurance catcher, spending nearly the entire season at Toledo until he became Alex Avila's backup down the stretch with Victor Martinez limited by a sprained knee. Santos appeared in 11 games as a Tiger, including single-game appearances in April and August, going 5-for-22 at the plate while throwing out one out of six would-be basestealers. He hit .245 with two homers and 16 RBIs in 49 games for the Mud Hens.

The Tigers are still expected to pursue a catcher to back up Avila and limit the wear and tear on Martinez's knees to his duties as Detroit's designated hitter. Though Santos could be that guy, Detroit might also look to somebody more established.

While Santos was a Minor League signing last winter, Thomas was a holdover from 2010, when the native Australian came back to the big leagues to become the second lefty in Detroit's bullpen as well as a two-time spot starter. He had none of that success this year, due mainly to injuries in his forearm and elbow that left him on the disabled list all summer.

Thomas, who turned 34 this month, gave up 11 earned runs on 17 hits over 11 innings before forearm pain felt while warming up in the bullpen in mid-May led to a DL stint. He spent close to a month on a rehab assignment in Toledo, giving up four runs on 10 hits over 10 1/3 innings with the Hens, when the Tigers tried to activate him and designate him for assignment.

Thomas complained of elbow trouble and requested a second opinion. Once the diagnosis came back, the roster move was rescinded, and Thomas spent the rest of the year on the disabled list.

Thomas would have been eligible for arbitration had the Tigers held onto him. Instead, he'll likely look for another Minor League deal in the U.S. or head back to the Far East for another stint in Japan or Korea, where he spent time near the end of the last decade before the Tigers signed him after the 2009 season.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://alwaysatiger.forumotion.com
GoGetEmTigers
DTF1 ADMINISTRATOR Detroit Tiger
DTF1 ADMINISTRATOR Detroit Tiger
avatar

Female
Number of posts : 57424
Age : 58
Location : Eastern Ohio, near Wheeling WV
Favorite Current Tiger(s) : JV, Hunter, Jackson, Porcello, Avila (really ALL of em!)
Reputation : 20
Registration date : 2007-10-05

PostSubject: Re: 2011/2012 Off Season Tigers Foundation, needs and transactions   Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:43 pm

Tigers, Laird reunite with one-year contract
By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 11/18/11 12:32 PM EST

DETROIT -- In need of a veteran catcher to back up All-Star Alex Avila, the Tigers turned to the backstop Avila once backed up.

Detroit signed Gerald Laird to a one-year contract on Friday, reuniting the 32-year-old with the pitching staff he caught for two seasons before winning a World Series with the Cardinals this past season.

The deal is reportedly worth $1 million, the same salary Laird made last year with St. Louis.


"Gerald is a veteran catcher that is familiar with both our pitching staff and organization," team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said in a statement. "As a right-handed hitter, he is the solid complement to Alex Avila as our backup catcher for the 2012 season."

Laird was the Tigers' primary catcher in 2009, having been acquired from the Rangers in a trade for prospects that included Guillermo Moscoso. He batted .225 with four homers and 33 RBIs in 135 games that year for a team that came within a tiebreaker of the American League Central title and featured Avila as a late-season callup. Laird and Avila split time catching in '10, but Avila got the bulk of the starts down the stretch.

The Tigers and Laird amicably parted ways at that point -- Laird looking for more playing time, Detroit looking to give Avila room to blossom. The separation worked for both parties, with Laird winning a World Series title as the backup to Yadier Molina and Avila emerging as one of the best catchers in the AL.

The Tigers got through most of the season with designated hitter Victor Martinez backing up Avila. An early August knee injury Martinez suffered on a slide at home plate made that impossible down the stretch, however, forcing Avila into a long grind of late-season starts that wore him down near season's end and into the playoffs, where he struggled in both the AL Division Series and AL Championship Series.

When Dombrowski spoke a month ago about the team's need for a backup catcher, Laird fit the profile -- a right-handed hitter with a good amount of experience, good defense and a reputation for calling a good game. Laird brings the added bonus of a track record with Tigers pitchers. Laird caught 49 of Justin Verlander's starts from 2009-10 and was a big factor behind Rick Porcello's standout rookie season in '09.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://alwaysatiger.forumotion.com
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: 2011/2012 Off Season Tigers Foundation, needs and transactions   

Back to top Go down
 
2011/2012 Off Season Tigers Foundation, needs and transactions
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» Ospreys - Season 2011/2012
» New programs 2011-2012/Nouveaux programmes 2011-2012
» Who will do damage in 2011/2012?
» 2011-2012 winter van plans
» Post your 2011- 2012 snow pics.

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
DETROIT TIGER FANS! :: Tiger Talk :: Breaking News-
Jump to: