Tigers activate Alex Avila from DL, lose backup Gerald Laird to hamstring injury

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Alex Avila missed the minimum 15 days on the disabled list and is now back on the Tigers’ active roster after being sidelined by a hamstring injury.

His return comes at a good time, as the Tigers lost backup Gerald Laird to a hamstring injury yesterday after relying on him to do most of the catching in Avila’s absence.

Avila went 3-for-7 on a brief minor-league rehab assignment at Triple-A. He was hitting .250 with five homers and a .766 OPS in 44 games before being shut down, which presented a 45-point drop in batting average and 130-point drop in OPS compared to his breakout 2011 season.

Laird came into the season as a career .242 hitter, but batted .302 in limited action.

Phillies, Jake Arrieta having a “dialogue”

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No, not like a Socratic dialogue, in which each side, in a mostly cooperative, but intellectually confrontational manner interrogate one another as a means of testing assertions and finding truths, though that would be an AMAZING thing for baseball players and teams to do. Rather, low-level talks about possible interest in Jake Arrieta, baseball free agent.

Arrieta is probably the top free agent still available, now that Yu Darvish, J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer have signed. Philly has money — it’s a big market — and could use a pitcher, but Jon Heyman, who, much like Plato did for Socrates, reported the dialogue, says they’re not looking to go long term with anyone.

It may make sense for Arrieta to take a so-called “pillow contract” and come back on the market in a year, but if he’s willing to accept a one-year deal, there are a lot of teams other than Philly who may offer one, and you’d have to figure Arrieta would prefer to pitch for a team more likely to contend.

Dialogues are cool, though. You should go have one over lunch.