According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, free agent short stop Stephen Drew is drawing interest from several clubs including the Detroit Tigers who just exercised a $6 million dollar team option on infielder Jhonny Peralta for the 2013 season.
Drew became a free agent this offseason after the A’s declined their half of a $10 million dollar mutual option though according to MLBTradeRumors.com, Oakland is still interested in re-signing him at a lower price.
However Drew doesn’t come without some drawback.
The veteran shortstop Drew was shelved for a good portion of the 2012 season after dealing with a pretty severe ankle injury. His offensive numbers are also not eye popping going .223/.309/.348 in 327 plate appearances with Arizona and Oakland last season.
But again though what about Jhonny Peralta?
Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reported via Twitter that the Tigers wouldn’t trade Peralta unless they could find a way to upgrade at the position. This news by Knobler also came at the same time that the Arizona Diamondbacks appeared to be interested in the Tigers’ shortstop.
Diamondbacks have shown interest in Jhonny Peralta. But Tigers won't trade him unless/until they get someone better at shortstop.
— Danny Knobler (@DannyKnobler) November 20, 2012
Jim Bowden of ESPN later mentioned that the Tigers are seeking to sign Drew then trade Peralta to either the D-Backs or Boston Red Sox.
Tigers working on signing Stephen Drew to play SS then would trade Peralta to Arizona or Boston
— Jim Bowden (@JimBowden_ESPN) November 20, 2012
You wonder though if the Drew addition would be that much of an upgrade over Peralta.
Yes, Peralta’s offensive numbers were way down from what he did in 2011 but still were slightly better than Drew’s. In 585 plate appearances Peralta had a batting line of .239/.305/.384. He also possessed a .988 fielding percentage with a UZR of 11.7. This was to Drew’s fielding percentage of .972 with a UZR of -10.7.
Hardly an upgrade if you ask me, however there could be more to this than meets the eye.
The Tigers still could very much be in the market for a corner outfielder despite the signing of Torii Hunter last week. It’s also been well documented that the Tigers were in discussions with the Diamondbacks for outfielder Justin Upton earlier on in the month before the signing of Hunter. Could Peralta be packaged in a deal that would bring Upton to the Motor City? That alone could make the underwhelming signing of Stephen Drew well worth it.
h/t: MLBTradeRumors.com, CBS Sports, ESPN