Posted by: Larry Smith Jr. | December 7, 2009

Thoughts on Re-Signing Adam Everett and More



I wrote this piece prior to the existance of this blog. In order to maintain continuity of my writing and to get as much of it into one place as possible, I added this post at a later date and time stamped it to the date and approximate time that I originally wrote it. This is the reason why it appears before the “introduction” blog entry. It is because this piece actually predates the blog. What follows below is the original entry as written whenever I wrote it.

The Tigers have re-signed Adam Everett for a year at $1.55m. After failing to trade for Hardy and sign Scutaro, Everett was the best player left to fill their hole at Shortstop. Very nice deal for the Tigers, keeping Adam for another year on the cheap. Amazing at how much defense continues to be undervalued in the market. Most importantly, this means no Bobby Crosby, and that’s a great thing.

I’d like to see the Tigers manipulate his playing time such that he starts only vs. LHP and when Rick Porcello and Jeremy Bonderman start. He’s an older player with a questionable injury history, and he’s literally one of the worst MLB hitters of his era. However, he’s actually a passable hitter vs. LHP (He was 273/312/414, 88 OPS+ last year and is 256/317/367 in his career) for a middle infielder. His superior defensive ability can be best leveraged when an extreme ground ball pitcher like Porcello is on the mound, or someone like Bonderman who makes alot of ground ball outs. Santiago is a better hitter but a dramatically inferior fielder and the trade-off is valuable when guys like Verlander and Jackson, who make fewer ground ball outs, are on the mound.

There are ways to make limited players with one very good skill like Everett very valuable for you while mitigating the damage done by his faults. This is one way they can do it in 2010 that would create a the best opportunities for them to win games, as far as I can see. We’ll see how it turns out.

In addition, the Tigers also signed LHP Brad Thomas to a Major League deal. He’s spent the last two years playing in Korea, and I don’t really know alot about him. If last year’s signing of Fu-Te Ni is any indictator, they know what they’re doing out there. I don’t know where a third lefty would fit in to this year’s bullpen, but he’s a low risk high reward signing. He was last at AAA in 2007 and he had a sub-4.00 FIP and a good strikeout rate. He also had a crazy high ground ball rate (51%). He’s only pitched 23 career innings in the majors and they’ve been mostly a disaster. Based on those 23 innings, it appears that he has a fastball that mostly rides 90 MPH, and his primary breaking pitch is a 73 MPH curve. He infrequently mixes in a slider and a changeup, both at about 84. Of course, that information comes from five years ago and he may have completely changed his approach and ability since then. This guy is a total enigma (to me), but between the success of the current scouting staff in bringing Fu-Te Ni over from Taiwan and some cause for optimism in Thomas’ minor league performance, there is a good reason to believe that he can achieve moderate success as a major league LOOGY. If not, well……..the Tigers lose nothing. Nice move to attempt to bolster the bullpen at little risk. These are exactly the types of signings that I advocate teams use to build their bullpens.


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