Peralta Addition May Refocus Tigers in Off-Season

The trade with the Cleveland Indians to acquire Jhonny Peralta has ended up being a decent addition to the team. While nobody will mistake him for Alan Trammell, Peralta has seemingly become a nice addition to a team swooning towards a third place finish in the AL Central. Though the trade was made with an eye in the direction of August and September 2010, it may be the moves for 2011 that will have the biggest impact.

To name Peralta’s play with the Tigers one word comes to mind: steady. His 12 hits in a Tigers uniform add up to a total of 25 bases (4 HR), while dropping his average to below .240. The numbers are not spectacular, but it would be my guess that picking up his $7 million option for 2011 may not be the worst choice in a free agent class where everyone will be overpaying for aging talent. The Tigers have a number of holes to fill – namely starting pitching, corner outfielders and a catcher, with an infielder either third or fourth on the list. Dombrowski knows his time is running short and winning needs to be a premium at any cost next season.

Do not be shocked this offseason if the Tigers clear the minor league stack again to grab a big name in a trade. The reality for Tigers management is that it’s either overpaying or taking a gamble on an injured player looking at Detroit as a last resort. Johnny Damon was one of the rare players looking to play in Detroit, and I’m guessing it’s because Scott Boras saw a team in desperate need of a left-handed bat. Peralta is still an expensive player to be had, but his ability to play multiple positions makes him a high-prized item in this town.