Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Detroit Tigers Free Agents

With Sean Casey filing for free agency yesterday, three Tigers have now filed. The other two are Jamie Walker and Matt Stairs. These players are still the property of the Tigers at this time but will be free to negotiate with any team starting 15 days after the World Series which this year is November 11. The only other Tiger eligible for free agency is Troy Percival. He may file as a formality but he has not pitched in a regular season game since 2005 and his career is likely over.

The free agent most likely to re-sign with the Tigers is Jamie Walker but this is far from a sure thing. The 35 year old Walker has been with the Tigers since 2002 and their is a mutual interest in his returning but he is coming off his best season and the market for middle relievers has gotten much better in recent years. I suspect he'll do quite well in the free agent market. Walker had a 2.81 ERA and 37/8 K/BB ratio in 48 innings pitched this year.

Sean Casey had an excellent post-season batting .432 including .529 in the World Series and is apparently very popular with his teammates. However he had a poor regular season batting .245/.286/.364 for the Tigers and .272/.336/.388 overall. In other words, his whole regular season was worse than Chris Shelton's month of July before his demotion to the minors. Casey also missed a lot time with various injuries and played in only 112 games. He has had several solid seasons in the past and has a life-time .302 batting average but has had only one .800+ OPS since 2001. There is still some chance they will sign Casey if they do not find a replacement elsewhere but they would like to find a more powerful hitter for that position.

Matt Stairs is a left-handed hitting first basemen with patience. This is something the Tigers could use but he is 38 years old and batted just .247/.328/.420 in 117 games this year. I don't expect him to re-sign with the Tigers.

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