Tigers “expected” to re-sign free agent-to-be Jhonny Peralta

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Last week the Tigers kept Brandon Inge from hitting the open market by signing him to a two-year, $11.5 million deal and now Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that they’re “expected” to retain impending free agent Jhonny Peralta as well.

Peralta went from Cleveland to Detroit in a July 28 trade and hit just .253/.313/.396 in 57 games down the stretch, but apparently the Tigers liked what they saw more than the numbers suggest.

According to Morosi the Tigers are likely to decline their $7.5 million option on Peralta and try to re-sign him to two-year contract with a lower annual salary that “will probably be a little less than the $11.5 million” Inge received.

Now that Inge is signed through 2012 the Tigers would presumably use Peralta at shortstop, where his lack of range and error-prone ways caused the Indians to move him to third base. Morosi writes that the Tigers are willing to live with his sub par glove “in exchange for Peralta’s run production” and goes on to quote his RBI totals, but Peralta batted .249 with a .703 OPS this season and .254 with a .690 OPS last season. Not exactly strong production, let alone strong enough to make it worth sacrificing defense at a key position.

If the Tigers end up committing $10 million per season for the next two years to keep Inge and Peralta as the left side of their infield the rest of the AL Central should be thanking general manager Dave Dombrowski.

Baseball to honor Stoneman Douglas High School as spring training games begin

New Era
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There were a few exhibitions against college teams yesterday but today the Grapefruit League and Cactus League schedules begin in earnest, with big league teams, more or less, facing big league team, more or less.

The baseball will look like baseball, but the teams will be wearing different caps today: black caps with the maroon “SD” of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting on February 14.

All teams and umpire crews will wear the caps pre-game, and they have the option to wear the caps during the games. The only two teams not playing today — the Royals and Rangers — will wear them tomorrow.

After the games players will sign the caps and they will be auctioned off to raise money for the Broward Education Foundation, which benefits the official Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund.

Here’s today’s schedule: