Sunday, September 30, 2007

Casey Will Not be Back, Pudge Gone too?

The Tigers informed Sean Casey that he will not be returning to the team next year. After the prior announcement that Carlos Guillen is moving to first base, this comes as no surprise. With the Tigers carrying 12 pitchers and a full-time designated hitter, there is no room on the bench for a player who can only play first base and has no speed or power.

Casey was a very popular teammate and is regarded by many as the most personable player in the game. As a fan it was fun watching him interact with opponents at first base and teammates in the dugout. He seems to really love the game and I wish him luck wherever he goes. Casey had this to say about the decision:

"I'm not sad,'' Casey said. "I'm grateful. I've enjoyed my time here so much. Some of the best memories of my 10-year career have been here.''

Casey will be now be a free agent and will likely find a team to offer him a deal as a first base stop gap similar to the role he had this year with the Tigers.

In more surprising (but unfinished) news, Danny Knobler is reporting that the Tigers probably will not pick up Ivan Rodriguez's $13 million dollar option. There is some talk that they might try to sign him for less than $13 million after declining the option. Knobler thinks that it is unlikely that Pudge would accept that and, given the catcher's big ego, I have to agree.

So, they may be looking for a new catcher as well as a new shortstop this off-season. Although he has declined quite a bit both offensively and defensively, Rodriguez would still be difficult to replace. This could be shaping up to be a very interesting and active off-season.

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