Photo: Free Press
The Tigers announced today that veteran shortstop Adam Everett will no longer don the Olde English ‘D’. After releasing Everett, the Tigers have recalled triple-A infielder Danny Worth. Worth was 8-for-24 in his first stint with the Tigers.
I view the move in two ways.
First, and this is by no means revolutionary, Dave Dombrowski is trying to toe the ever dangerous line of staying competitive while, at the same time, develop an unusual amount of rookies on his major league roster. This blueprint was made evident after the Curtis Granderson deal that shipped veterans off in favor of youth and lengthy/cheap contracts, was followed by shelling out millions to veterans Jose Valverde and Johnny Damon.
Adam Everett is now seen as a dead end. He was given a one year, $1 million contract to begin the 2010 campaign, almost exclusively to shore up a questionable defensive middle. But as his offensive woes continued, the Tigers decided to part ways. Now Dombrowski will be resigning to the hope that the Tigers can stay in the AL Central race while developing 3-4 rookies in the everyday lineup.
Second, I view the move as counter-productive. It’s no secret to Tigers’ fans that the bottom of the order, particularly 8-9, have been unproductive. To me, that’s besides the point. The Tigers were never going to hit on a level with the Twins. Their inside straight draw to winning this division was pitching and defense. Without Everett, you submit the core of your defense (C, 2B, SS, CF) to 2 rookies, a player who has never played second base, and a rookie and/or role player.
Jim Leyland has said that Alex Avila will see increased time behind the plate, which is a position he’s still learning. Carlos Guillen is playing out of position. If they go the route of Ramon Santiago as a full-time shortstop, you rely on a guy who has never played a full season, and whose criticism is that he wears down easily. If they go the route of Danny Worth at shortstop, you rely on yet another unproven rookie at a key position.
I know Everett’s production was horrible. But don’t expect much from Santiago or Worth. Neither are Hanley Ramirez, either. When you combine the minimal offensive upgrade with the large gamble on defense, it’s a hand I wouldn’t play. Dombrowski, though, is a gambler.