"Knowing that I'm not going to look over my shoulder, it's relaxing now. I'm just going to play baseball. I'm not going to worry about the small things I did over the last couple years.Well, two things have changed since I had a post on acquiring Gerald Laird yesterday. At the time, it seemed likely that there was going to be some sort of a time share arrangement between Laird and Dusty Ryan. That doesn't appear to be the case, as Laird has been annointed the team's starter. This only turns out to be a bad thing if a struggling Laird is taking playing time away from a capable Ryan. There's a possibility that series of events could occur and Jim Leyland's trademark veteran stubbornness could block the Tigers' best option. Then again, Dusty Ryan could have been a fluke this year, and Laird could be saving us from disaster. Regardless, it is difficult to approve Laird's dismissal of Dusty Ryan, and could make for an awkward situation during the season.
Could the Tigers be in the market for Laird's backup now? Here's a quote from Dombrowski yesterday.
"Ideally," Dombrowski said, "our (plan) is that it will benefit him to play every day at Triple-A."I am perfectly fine with Dusty Ryan getting seasoning in AAA. However, the implication here seems to be that the Tigers are content having Dane Sardinha as the team's backup. I see no reason why Dane Sardinha should be any higher than fourth on any catching depth chart, and if this trade makes the Tigers feel comfortable with him on the roster, it would be an unfortunate consequence.
Onto Adam Everett, whom the Tigers worked out last week and have apparently signed. For $1 million plus incentives, this isn't a bad deal. However, there are some question marks surrounding him. The biggest of which is his shoulder, which caused him to miss much of last season. They apparently feel confident that his shoulder is healthy and will not hamper him defensively this year. Forgive me if I'm skeptical of the Tigers' scouting after they felt Jacque Jones was still an MLB caliber outfielder or that Edgar Renteria was an above average defensive shortstop. We'll just have to wait and see if he is and capable of playing a full season at a high level. I cannot blindly trust this organization anymore.
Everett was one of the top, if not the top, defensive shortstops in the game before his injuries, but he needs to continue to be elite in order to be useful, because the career .653 OPS will not cut it if he is merely good out there. It will also do no good if he is only able to play 40 or 50 games, as the Tigers would then have to go right back to square one. In which case, we would be subjected to the seemingly endless Jack Wilson rumors.