We knew it wouldn’t take long. After the season ends, it’s not like baseball gives teams a ton of time to make decisions on guys who have options. The Tigers made a couple of those decisions, along with another one of importance, and none of them were unexpected.
Oct 28, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers pitcher Octavio Dotel (20) receives the ball from manager Jim Leyland (10) during the seventh inning of game four of the 2012 World Series against the San Francisco Giants at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
The first and biggest no-brainer of the bunch is that the Tigers decided to bring back Jim Leyland and his staff for the 2013 season. Again, it’s on a one year deal, and that probably has as much to do with Leyland as anything. At 67 years old, he doesn’t show much sign of slowing down, but he is getting up there in age. It’s no surprise that David Dombrowski brought Leyland back, as the Tigers reached the World Series for the 2nd time in seven seasons. As frustrating as the Tigers manager can be, mainly due to some of his loyalties (yes, Don Kelly will likely be back again), the Tigers manager has done a quality job overall. I guess, just get ready to be frustrated once again.
Peralta is no surprise to me, especially at a pretty reasonable six million dollars for next year. The Tigers simply just don’t have another answer at the position at this point. They had to pick up the option. This doesn’t mean of course that the Tigers are going to go into the 2013 season with Peralta as their shortstop. He could be dealt in the off-season as the Tigers look for a younger, better defensive version to play the position. There is a lot of off-season left, so don’t jump the gun in thinking the Tigers have made their choice in this regard.
Octavio Dotel was less of a definite, but I think it clearly signals the Tigers are going to move on from Jose Valverde. That seems obvious, but I would never put it past the Tigers organization to show loyalty to guys that have performed for them before. Dotel had himself a solid season as a Tiger, but picking up his option seems more of a case of insurance. If a multitude of new options for the Tigers fails, Dotel and his experience could come in handy. He also comes relatively cheap at 3M per season, though I do believe the Tigers could get his production from a minor league replacement.
The off-season has officially begun, and while there is nothing surprising here, the 2013 squad is already taking shape.