For our next installment, we'll showcase one of the new acquisitions in Detroit.
For the money ($1 million for one year), Detroit could not have gotten a better shortstop than Adam Everett. He is everything that the Tigers need in the middle infield: a superior defender who turns balls in play into outs. For that salary, he was extremely affordable for a Tiger team that was looking to trim payroll.
Now, before I go any further, let me soothe your worries about his offense. He has not batted above .240 since 2005, his on-base percentage stinks, his slugging percentage is awful, and he has no power (only 37 career home runs).
In other words, bunting may become a staple in Detroit. But this can be overlooked, considering the big guns the Tigers already have in the lineup.
His defense makes all that talk about his offense slip to the periphery anyway. Everett has been one of the best defenders at his position since he made it to the big leagues in 2002.
In Adam, Detroit gets a shortstop who is a vacuum cleaner, sucking up ground balls and making outs. Defense was needed in Detroit and it was brought in. Detroit's pitching staff shouldn't be afraid to pitch to contact, knowing that Everett and Brandon Inge are manning the left side of the infield.
Brandon Inge makes Everett even better. Inge's superior range and playmaking ability at third base should allow Everett to cheat one or two steps further toward second base, giving him the chance to make more outs on ground balls up the middle.
Of course, I don't expect Everett to start 160 games, either. Jim Leyland likes to utilize his bench, so expect to see Ramon Santiago get a fair number of starts at shortstop. In his favor, he has speed on the basepaths to add to his field play.
In the end, Adam makes the Tigers a much better team. Pitchers should be confident when they release the ball that it is going to end up in someone's glove and turn into an out.
I expect the pitching staff to make a turnaround this year because a guy like Everett is behind them. Hopefully it's enough of a turnaround that the Tigers are still in playoff contention come September.
Stay tuned for more roster breakdowns.