Thursday, November 16, 2006

Sean Casey Re-signed.

The Tigers signed Sean Casey to a 1 year 4 million dollar contract today. According to Billfer at Detroit Tigers Weblog, Casey will be the starting first baseman and Chris Shelton will have to earn his way back onto the team:
Sean Casey is here to be the starter. That was made very clear by Dave Dombrowski who indicated that Chris Shelton would need to earn his way on to the team in spring training and would otherwise be optioned to Toledo.
As many of you know, I'm not a big fan of Casey. Any way you look at the numbers, Casey had a bad year in 2006. He batted .245/.286/.364 for the Tigers and .272/.336/.388 overall and also missed 50 games due to various injuries. He has had only one year with an OPS above .800 in the past 5 years. My hope is that he can get back to the .312/.371/.423 level he was at in 2005. That's not enough power for a first baseman but it's tolerable. Given his age and his health and weight problems, I'm not that optimistic however.

The good news is that it's only a one year deal so if he does poorly again next year, they won't get stuck with him. Plus, it's a relatively inexpensive contract so if Shelton tears it up at Toledo, it won't be difficult for the Tigers to bring up Shelton and put Casey on the bench. One scenario which does worry me is Casey getting hurt, Guillen moving to first base and Ramon Santiago/Neifi Perez taking over at shortstop. I know that worked out OK in the playoffs but that's an arrangement I would not want to see for an extended time period.

Dombrowski also said that the starting line-up is all set after this move and that he isn't looking for more starting players. One guess at the opening day starting line-up is:

Curtis Granderson CF
Placido Polanco 2B
Carlos Guillen SS
Gary Sheffield DH
Magglio Ordonez RF
Ivan Rodriguez C
Sean Casey 1B
Craig Monroe LF
Brandon Inge 3B

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