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Victor Martinez can do a little bit of everything. He can catch and play first base, though he doesn't do either particularly well. But the one thing he can do is hit.
Last season, Martinez hit .302 with 20 home runs and 79 RBI, playing the majority of the season as catcher for the Boston Red Sox.
While Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski has indicated that Martinez's primary role with the team will be as a DH, the Tigers also need some help at catcher, so having Martinez gives them excellent flexibility.
In 2008 and 2009, Tigers catchers posted WARs of a combined 0.8. That number rose to 1.9 in 2010, but that was still good for just sixth best in the American League.
DH hasn't been much better for the Tigers, having ranked next-to-last in batting average, slugging percentage and OPS over the last three seasons.
Having Martinez doesn't immediately turn the Tigers into division champions, but it gives them the ability to moves pieces around as they wish during the season, improving multiple positions in the process.