Tigers expected to pick up Peralta's option but could still look to improve at shortstop
The Tigers will likely pick up Jhonny Peralta's $6-million contract option for 2013, but that doesn't mean they're necessarily committed to sticking with Peralta as their shortstop next year. Because Peralta has such limited range, the Tigers could pick up the option and then trade Peralta while looking elsewhere for an upgrade.
Even with Jhonny Peralta's strong performance in the American League Championship Series, the Tigers could well look for someone else to play shortstop next year.
First, though, they'll almost certainly pick up the $6-million option on Peralta's contract, which they must do shortly after the World Series.
The market for shortstops is limited, and people familiar with the Tigers' thinking say that even if they decide they want to look for an upgrade, they believe Peralta at $6 million would have trade value. The Tigers would then need to find a shortstop elsewhere, most likely through another trade.
Why wouldn't the Tigers just keep Peralta, who batted .389 in the ALCS against the Yankees and made a few key defensive plays?
The main reason is Peralta's lack of range, which hurts even more because the rest of the Tigers' infield is also limited.
When the Tigers decided to bring Peralta back last winter, they expected Brandon Inge to be their third baseman. Since Inge can cover a lot of ground, the thought was that Peralta would have more help on the left side of the infield.
Then Victor Martinez got hurt, and owner Mike Ilitch decided he wanted to sign Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera became the Tigers' third baseman. While Cabrera played better defense than many expected, he does not have great range.