One ex-Tiger that could’ve been interesting to the current Tigers signed today with the Baltimore Orioles according to MLB Trade Rumors. Wilson Betemit has agreed with the Orioles on a one year contract, and that takes yet another option off of the market for the Tigers heading into 2012 with a pretty gaping hole at the DH spot.
While Betemit isn’t what comes to mind when you think of the prototypical DH, he certainly put up numbers in 2011 that would suggest he could handle the duties for a year. Given the other options that the Tigers have discussed, or that people have discussed for the Tigers, Betemit actually stacks up nicely against those options.
Earlier tonight, Chris Hannum of MCB, took a look at minor league free agent signing Brad Eldred. Eldred has huge power, but also has huge holes in his swing. Still, despite that, one could draw the conclusion that if the “Davenport Translation” was accurate, Eldred would actually be better than some of the options still available. One guy overlooked in the discussion has been Betemit.
Betemit has done a good job of putting together quality back to back seasons. In 2010, Betemit posted an OPS of .889 for the Royals. In 2011, he combined for an OPS of .795 with the Royals and the Tigers, and he actually slugged the ball better when he put on the Tigers uniform. He posted an OPS of .871 in a Tigers uniform, which far better than guys like Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui and Raul Ibanez. Heck, his OPS of .795 was better than those guys.
The Tigers couldn’t have foreseen the injury to Victor Martinez, but it has focused a glaring light on the lack of quality offensive depth on the 40 man roster. Though most teams would have trouble replacing that kind of production. The Tigers will probably just have to come somewhere close, and now there is one less option left in that regard.