Shortstop Adam Everett was signed Monday to a one-year contract for the 2010 season by the Detroit Tigers, who were able to cross an item off their shopping list.
The signing of Everett does not come as much of a surprise for a franchise that is short of cash but flush with needs. The financial reality of the Tigers does not allow them much leeway in offseason spending.
The free agent market was thin on talent at shortstop to begin with. Alex Gonzalez signed with Toronto and Marco Scutaro signed with Boston, leaving behind some guys who are probably destined to be utility players in the very near future, except for the likes of Miguel Tejada.
Everett is a cheap one-year stop-gap for the 2010 season. Undoubtedly, Everett's contract cannot be for much more than $1.2 million.
Doubtless, many of the Detroit faithful are groaning over the idea of another year of a shortstop who can barely hit his weight, and is more often a hole in the lineup.
Despite that, signing Everett makes the most sense for many reasons.
Of course, foremost among those reasons is money. The Tigers still have needs this offseason, and the front office is going to have to get creative on how to fill some of them.
The second reason is talent. As I said the shortstop market it fairly deprived of it. Most of the players in this market fit the same bill as Everett, namely good glove, no bat. If that is the case, why not keep the guy you had last year?
The third reason this signing makes so much sense is defense. Everett might not hit, but he is one of the best glove-men around. This is exactly the guy the pitching staff needs behind them to suck up ground balls and make outs.
The defense is where Everett edged out Bobby Crosby, (formerly of Oakland) who was another player on the Detroit radar. Crosby has not developed into a good hitter since breaking into the league in 2004. In fact, his career numbers are very comparable to Everett's. That being the case, why not go for the superior defender?
Besides, there is more at stake for the infield defense this upcoming season than just shortstop. Across the other side of second base will be a fresh face in Detroit, straight from the green pastures of the farm in Toledo.
I'm quite certain Scott Sizemore, the heir apparent to second base, will have a new best friend in the smooth fielding Everett. I am anxious to see what Everett can do for him in the fielding department.
In the end, keeping Everett for another year stabilizes the middle infield, and perhaps decreases the brunt of the blow felt by the departure of Placido Polanco.
At the end of the day, I have to say that the front office picked the right guy.
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