Sean Casey signed?

The Tigers scheduled a conference call today with Sean Casey. I’m guessing that means they signed him. If so, I’m not a big fan of the deal. I’ll have more later tonight.

UPDATE: Jason Beck says it’s a 1 year deal. At least it is short, but the fact the Tigers are content with Casey as the first sacker/left handed bat they need is disappointing.

UPDATE 2: Sean Casey is here to be the starter. That was made very clear by Dave Dombrowski who indicated that Chris Shelton would need to earn his way on to the team in spring training and would otherwise be optioned to Toledo.

Dombrowski also said that the starters appear to be set and he isn’t looking to make any more deals for starting players.

As for Casey, he is thrilled to be back and said Detroit was his first choice.


  1. Kyle J

    November 16, 2006 at 3:04 pm

    All depends how much they’re paying him. If they’re paying him starter money, I don’t like it. If they’re paying him something closer to back-up money, I like it. Would be nice to have a solid, professional hitter to use off the bench.

  2. Kyle J

    November 16, 2006 at 3:05 pm

    And it all depends what you think Shelton’s odds of regaining his early form are. If Shelton can be a .280/25 HR hitter, then this deal makes some sense. Casey becomes some form of back-up/insurance/platoon player.

  3. Kyle J

    November 16, 2006 at 3:13 pm

    Final post: I suppose it can’t “all” depend on both of the two things I cited. So I’ll say it depends 50% on each.

  4. Marshall in DC

    November 16, 2006 at 3:14 pm

    Kyle hit it on the head . . . Me-thinks that Shelton will be given a good chance to show what he can do, If he comes in and plays well – the tigs are set. If he stinks it up, You can believe that the Tigers will be in the market for a First Baseman at the end of July 07.

    Casey is the safety guy . . .

    As for money – If Illich wants to spend – so be it . . there isn’t a hard cap.

    Can’t say that I like the deal, but I don’t hate it either. Casey came to my office (in DC) once and he was fricking halarious to hang out with. I’d love to see him do well as a tiger.

  5. Chris Y.

    November 16, 2006 at 3:21 pm

    I wouldn’t count out Jeff Larish in the near future, and maybe this deal says the Tiogers think Shelton or Larish could be the guy in 2007. Having seen Larich since his days at ASU (used to live in NM), this guy is the real deal. His BA is quite average with high K numbers, but his power and OBP is impressive (very good eye). Sound strange, Brian B explains it better than I….


  6. Scuba

    November 16, 2006 at 3:23 pm

    I can understand the apprehensivness about a possible Casey signing but I’d like to see him back as long as his contract is a lot smaller than his previous. He was after all our most consistent hitter in the WS. He kinda earned it I think.

  7. Lee Panas

    November 16, 2006 at 3:38 pm

    I don’t like this deal at all.

  8. Lee Panas

    November 16, 2006 at 3:42 pm

    Then again, what Kyle says makes a lot of sense. Hopefully, they have not given up on Shelton and that they can work him back into the line-up. I don’t expect Casey to stay healthy enough to reach 400 at bats.

  9. Walewander

    November 16, 2006 at 3:51 pm

    Crap Crapity Crap Crap.
    What about a Sloth/Mayor platoon? Or is the mayor just a backup? Pretty please! And is this it for the offseason?

  10. J

    November 16, 2006 at 4:11 pm

    I have to disagree with the popular opinion on this one. Casey is a solid left-handed bat. Soemthing the Tigers need desperately. Outside of some make believe trade straight from the imagination of Lynn Henning, this deal seems to be the best one out there. Aubrey Huff is brutal and a contact hitter is much needed for the Tigs right now. To go into the season reliant upon Shelton regaining his form would be a major mistake and something a team like the Cubs would do (i.e. Wood and Prior every year).

  11. Matt in Toledo

    November 16, 2006 at 4:16 pm

    Keeping Casey and Shelton means they can choose only one of:


    I don’t care if they cut bait with the latter two, but letting Infante or Thames go to sign Casey and have two first basemen seems like a mistake to me. I hope they’re not finished dealing, and since it’s not even December, I doubt they are.

  12. Walewander

    November 16, 2006 at 4:17 pm

    Casey’s ‘solid bat’ gave us a .245/.286/.354 line last year, good for a 68 OPS+. Even Shelton at his worst hit better than that.

  13. Jeff

    November 16, 2006 at 4:31 pm

    A fine deal if it’s for backup-level money and they continue to look for another solution at first base. Otherwise it’s not a good deal.

  14. NR

    November 16, 2006 at 4:31 pm

    I think the bigger problem could be the loss of Jamie Walker. Now they have to go out and hope that the Scott Schoenweisses of the world can be as reliable as he was over the last several years.

  15. NR

    November 16, 2006 at 4:49 pm

    Also, was just checking jersey prices on… guess what number it looks like Sheffield’s gonna be wearing… 3… that… that’s just not right.

  16. charlie

    November 16, 2006 at 4:52 pm

    i like the aggressiveness this off season. the tigers have gone out and signed who they wanted and not waited until the top names were gone. we are stronger than last year, obviously have some players we can trade and are showing guys like shelton they still have a chance to make the team. don’t ever downplay the importance of having good chemistry on a team and casey is good that way.

    there was talk here about trading bonderman for someone to play first base…my own feeling is that would be the worst possible move. i would like to see bonderman be a career tiger and pitch here for 18 more years.

    i believe that DD knows exactly what he is doing…we may see one or two more moves but i don’t in any way see the core of good young players going anywhere and i like that too.


  17. Jojo SunDevil

    November 16, 2006 at 5:05 pm

    This one I totally dont know. My knee jerk reaction was I don’t like it, because I wanted to see a good power hitter/clean up hitter go to first base. But then we signed Sheffield and I am not ayin Sheffield isa firsrt baseman, but that power hitter issue dissipates a little bit.

    But Sean Casey did struggle last year for the majority of the season.

    However, I love the idea of taking the chance with him hitting from gap to gap in Comerica Park. His career batting average, I am guessing is over 300 and he has a batting title. So getting him at a discount rate, is great.

    Finally, I llike this because it means that we don’t have to give up on Shelton so easily. If the Tigers signed a high price bat at first, then Shelton is in the dark. I still think Shelton has a ton of potential, and so it means that the Tigers have the luxury of plugging Shelton in if Casey should struggle, ot if Shelton comes on very strong in April like he did last year. It is a lot easier to bench Sean Casey than to bench Mark Teixera.

    So, I guess this is a good deal. And I trust in DD anyway.

  18. Nick

    November 16, 2006 at 5:11 pm

    I don’t think Casey has ever won a batting title. According to, he finished 4th in 99, and that is his highest finish. He did liead the league in double plays once though.

    His carreer BA is .302. Four out of the last five years he’s been a very bad hitting 1B, and 2006 was his worst of that group.

    This signing is a good one if it signals that the Tigers still have some faith in Shelton and Casey is just a fall back option. But if Casey is expected to be our 1B next year, we are going to have issues all year long.

  19. Chris in Nashville

    November 16, 2006 at 5:21 pm

    This is a good move I think. He can hit lefties and righties, and is GREAT with RISP. He was close to an RBI a game, and then was TREMENDOUS in the playoffs. My thinking is, this won’t be platoon situation, I think he is their starter, with Shelton a close call away should he get hurt again which is very possible. I bet they make Guillen and Pudge the backups to rest Casey and keep up Infante, Perez and hopefully Thames on the bench. You can’t have an all-start at evey position and i think this makes our lineup solid top to bottom again, with more thunder in the middle and more balanced throughout with 2 lefties and a switch hitter in the everyday 9. Huff is overrated and there isn’t really a whole lot else out there that fit what we needed. And if anyone wants to trade Bonderman for anything, should have their head examined.

  20. Walewander

    November 16, 2006 at 5:30 pm

    Sheffield wearing 3 is more than wrong, it’s EVIL.

    If the Tigers are done bat-wise, this is scary. If Sheff and Casey get hurt or don’t produce (VERY possible given their ages), we’re basically screwed.

  21. Ken from Cincinnati

    November 16, 2006 at 5:43 pm

    We’re going to have issues all year long? I just don’t see that happening. He was solid defensively, so I don’t see errors being a problem. He’s a proven hitter that can’t be counted out because of one injury riddled season. The world series showed that he is far from washed up, and there isn’t any reason he can’t come in next season and hit for .300. Would that really shock anybody? Moreover, if you wan’t an all-star first baseman, what are you willing to give up? We won’t be able to trade away 3 minor league prospects again. We would have to give up a major part of this club. As far as free agency goes, I don’t think breaking the bank is a smart move when you could have a Shelton/Casey platoon. Shelton could end up being a Texiera, any year now. He has that kind of potential. Bringing anyone else in is literally cutting him from the team. The potential slugger/veteran leader combo of Shelton/Casey is going to be a much better value than free agency in MHO.

  22. Sam

    November 16, 2006 at 6:25 pm

    I’d rather keep Casey than trade Bondo for Texiera. So in that vein, I am fine with the deal. I wouldn’e be suprise to see a Thames or Monroe dealt with Nate Robertson for a Carl Crawford.


  23. Joey the K

    November 16, 2006 at 7:13 pm

    I’m glad we got Casey back, but DD still needs to make one more move this offseason, UNLOAD NEIFI!!!!!!!!!

  24. Lee Panas

    November 16, 2006 at 7:35 pm

    Casey was awful this year no matter how you slice the stats. It’s possible this was a fluke year but given his age and health, I’m not very optimistic. At the very least, I think he’ll miss a lot of time with injuries. The good news is that it’s only a one year deal.

  25. Joey C.

    November 16, 2006 at 7:50 pm

    Why would we trade for Carl Crawford?

    I think this deal sucks, but I guess there aren’t many options at first base. And as I posted earlier, this sure makes me less excited about the Sheffield signing. Personally I think addressing the team’s biggest weakness is the way to go. It appears that we’re not doing that this off season.

    And Shef getting 3 is totally disgusting. I think that number should be retired.

  26. Doug Purdie

    November 16, 2006 at 7:58 pm

    Not such a bad idea to keep a left handed bat in the lineup. What, did you think the Tigers would go after Carlos Lee after commiting $41M to Sheffield for the next three years?

  27. Joey C.

    November 16, 2006 at 8:05 pm

    I don’t think any of us would be happy if we signed Carlos Lee for what he’s likely to command. But I think a lot of us would’ve like to have seen more creativity in trading.

    I mean, couldn’t they at least have waited until the winter meetings to decide that they really weren’t going to do any better than Casey?

  28. Bill

    November 16, 2006 at 8:09 pm

    4 million is the word on the Casey deal, which makes it look a lot better. I think the fact that he was willing to go so low to stay in Detroit completely altered Dombrowski’s plan. Casey’s career numbers are solid, awesome bb/k ratio, I think everyone bags on him cause he didnt do anything during the regular season. Maybe he just needed time to get adjusted to the AL.

    I don’t believe Jamie Walker is worth 60 grand an inning. Peter Angelos must be taking advice from Matt Millen.

    Is Sheffield really taking #3? Says who??

  29. Pete

    November 16, 2006 at 8:15 pm

    Well, this pretty much kills my idea of moving Guillen to first and finding a good-field, no-hit guy to play short and bat ninth.

    As for Casey, there should really be a moratorium on mentioning his career stats. He had a few good offensive years at the height of the Steroid Era (not saying Casey was juiced, just that a lot of guys put up big offensive numbers in 1999-2001), and as a result his career numbers are inflated. Assuming Casey is the everyday first baseman and stays reasonably healthy, I think the best we can hope for is about .290 BA, 10 HR, 75 RBI (and of course 72 GIDP). I wouldn’t put that kind of season past him, and I’d certainly take that over another roller-coaster ride with Shelton. Casey did play 137 games and hit .312 in 2005, he was great in 2004, and he’s not that old. Let’s hope last year was just an off year. It’s also nice having one guy on your team who always hustles and generally takes balls and swings at strikes. Bottom line, I don’t love this signing, and I’m sure I’ll be complaining next year when Casey is killing rallies by hitting into double plays, but I can live with Sean Casey as our everyday 1B in 2007.

  30. don

    November 16, 2006 at 8:36 pm

    really, who’s more valuable next year? casey, who if we’re lucky next year hits .285/15 or shelton who’d hit .270/25 and play better defense? more likely casey gives us .270/10 again, which is utterly laughable production for a 1B. that’s below “replacement level” for you statheads out there. Any AAA first basemen could put up those numbers in the AL.

    I’m disappointed if we give casey 300 ABs next year; look around the league, teams need power production out of their first basemen. Casey’s number’s are acceptable for a slick-fielding middle infielder or a catcher, but he’s not a viable fulltime 1B anymore, seems to me. I hope he proves me wrong and has another 2004 in him, but I don’t see it after last season. Dombrowski ain’t done, no way, he’s got too many extra pieces, too many needs (infield/catching prospects) and he’s too smart to leave it be.

  31. don

    November 16, 2006 at 8:43 pm

    pete, we already have the slick-glove-no-hit-SS you want, his name’s ramon santiago.

  32. Pete

    November 16, 2006 at 9:00 pm

    Good point re: Santiago, Don. Anyway, it’s clear that Guillen is going to be the SS next year.

    You have a bit more faith in Shelton (and less in Casey) than I do.
    If Shelton is going to hit .270 with 25 homers, I would play him over Casey, too.

    In the end, I’m not sure it matters that much. Whether it’s Casey or Shelton or some combination of the two, we’ll have a mediocre first baseman, and that ought to be good enough to win a bunch of games given the rest of our lineup (and our pitching).

  33. Brian

    November 16, 2006 at 9:08 pm

    I think a factor that many posters are forgetting is chemistry. A chemistry that may already be a little compromised with Sheff coming on board (we will see) but Casey wants to be here, proved he is a “gamer” and I am sure is well liked in the clubhouse. Does he have “starter” numbers? No – but in my experience, a great team is not always comprised of statistical all-stars at every position.

  34. Walt

    November 16, 2006 at 9:52 pm

    I wish I could forget chemistry, I have two grad level chem exams tomorrow.

    I think that the tigers are only better than last year at DH right now, no way DD is done. He can’t be done, we still have Neifi.


  35. Cameron in Singapore

    November 16, 2006 at 9:53 pm

    NO WAY is Sheffield getting 3!!! That is not conceivable…There’s NO WAY! I might have to retire as a Tiger fan if that happens.

  36. Jeff M

    November 16, 2006 at 10:38 pm

    I like this at $4 million for one year. At that price, he can easily be relegated to backup status if a better option presents itself. I’m all for deepening the bench.

  37. Andy in WB

    November 16, 2006 at 10:44 pm

    Here are career stats for two different first basemen, both were rookies in 1997:

    games 1193-1275
    ab 4414-4561
    runs 636-677
    hits 1333-1292
    doubles 278-226
    triples 11-5
    hr 126-245
    rbi 664-805
    walks 421-460
    k 510-713
    obp .368-.353
    slg .456-.496
    avg .302-.283

    Defensively they are even .995 fielding percentage.

    Obviously the first number is Sean Casey at 4 million $, the other…..
    At 12 million $/year…….Paul Konerko! Plus Casey has more triples 11-5, and more Stolen Bases 15-5. Doesn’t sound like a bad signing anymore.

    Walter, good luck on yer tests.


  38. Pingback: Mack Avenue Tigers: A Detroit Tigers Blog » Sean Casey re-ups with Tigers

  39. Kyle J

    November 17, 2006 at 1:00 am

    I really hope Shelton gets every chance to succeed (I don’t know why he wouldn’t). If he can get anywhere back near the .299/.360/.510 he put up in 2005, he’d be better than anything reasonably available out there without giving up pitching.

    I still believe he’ll put it together. This wasn’t a guy who just ran into a bunch of home runs. He was a pure hitter for nearly a full season (second half of 2005; beginning of 2006).

  40. Mike F

    November 17, 2006 at 1:33 am

    Before you completely trash the deal: The Unsigned free agent First Baseman from Free Agent Tracker

    1. Bagwell, Jeff
    2. Erstad, Darin
    3. Hillenbrand, Shea
    4. Jordan, Brian
    5. Klesko, Ryan
    6. Mabry, John
    7. Mientkiewicz, Doug
    8. Millar, Kevin
    9. Nevin, Phil
    10. Pena, Carlos
    11. Simon, Randall
    12. Ward, Daryle
    13. Witt, Kevin

  41. Brian

    November 17, 2006 at 2:19 am

    Not the best move that they could have made but the one plus is that it gives them a year to assess Shelton and Larish.

    As for Sheffield wearing 3… I will believe it when I see it. And if I see it I won’t care as much as some seem to.

    Numbers aren’t a big deal to me. Besides if someone is going to wear Tram’s number it might as well be a great hitter.

  42. Kurt

    November 17, 2006 at 2:33 am

    The name on the back and the person in the uniform is infinitely more important than some number. I don’t even begin to understand, I guess. I know there’s symbolism, but really, I don’t get it.

  43. Adam

    November 17, 2006 at 3:41 am

    Casey stealing bases? Triples? I’ll believe it when I see it.

  44. Brad

    November 17, 2006 at 8:59 am

    What`s the big deal about re-signing Casey! I think it`s great! Sure he`s not the best ou there, but so what! He did a great job for us this last year. Big names do not mean big numbers or big years, look at the Yankees! Casey is a perfect fit for the Tigers!!!

  45. Adam

    November 17, 2006 at 9:10 am

    I just listened to the conference call. I really think this is going to be a good move. Screw Huff, or Dunn. Casey might run like a mule, but he’s only 32.

    I’m predicting a career year from Granderson, Inge (defensively as well – need that Gold Glove this time, bud.), Monroe, and…yeah, Casey. It’s a lot easier to play well when you absolutely love the team you’re playing for. And I think a lot of the guys on this team feel that way. This team is America – the melting pot. I love the diversity. All the different countries represented, featured latinos and African Americans…all I could think about when we played the Cardinals was that they were all white save Taguchi and Wilson. And Belliard. Maybe. Or maybe it’s just his tongue that’s making me think that.

    Anyway. I’m getting cable this next summer just so I can come home after a hard day at work and watch the game. Can’t wait. TIGERS ’07!!!

  46. Nick

    November 17, 2006 at 9:33 am

    We really need Granderson to step up and Ordonez to hit like he did in the first half. That, combined with a full year of Sheffield, will make up for a likely decline in run prevention next year. If Sheffield gets hurt, or Ordonez and Gradnerson hit like they did in the 2nd half, we are going to have trouble scoring runs and we’ll need to lead the league in run prevention again if we want another shot at the playoffs.

  47. Chris in Nashville

    November 17, 2006 at 10:23 am

    I agree, teh key to the offense becoming more consistent is Granderson geting on base more next year. He only swung at strikes in the first half and walked WAY more than he did in the second half. If he doesn’t get on base, it doens’t matter if we have Sheffield because he won’t have anyone on base to drive in. As far as Sheff wearing #3, I don’t think that is accurate, no way. He only wore #10 or #11 is whole career to the best of my recollection, and I think those numbers are available. Why would you give up Tram’s #? You know that will be retired one day, so that can’t be right. And I don’t get why everyone is so down on Guillen at SS. He is an above average SS and has great range. Most of his errors are on throws. If he got his arm angle up instead of the little sidearm sling he has, I think that would be greatly reduced. And I think Inge is at 3rd for the rest of his career and will have few GG’s to show for it.

  48. Don

    November 17, 2006 at 5:36 pm

    I like granderson for next year too, people talk about the strikeouts, but a lot of great hitters strike out a ton before they learn to recognize big league breaking pitches. Guys like beltran, miguel cabrera, teixiera, jason bay, aramis ramirez all struck out a ton early on before taking more walks and hitting for more power and average in their second and third years. look for .280/.360/.500 from him over the next two years.

  49. Johnny

    November 17, 2006 at 11:41 pm

    Nothing in the world wrong with this signing. Career average of .302, and .306 over the last three years. Casey’s last three years stats adjusted to 550 atbats – 36 doubles, 15 HR’s, 80 RBI’s, 82 runs, Less than 50 K’s. If his back is right, and his legs hold up, I don’t see why he can’t put up these kind of numbers. Plus, he’ll likely get most of his atbats in the 7 hole. I’ll take it.

    Shelton needs to go back to Toledo and regain is confidence. I watched almost all the games last year, and Chris looked mighty poor with the bat. He seemed to be trying to do too much with an alarmingly slow bat.

  50. Kurt

    November 18, 2006 at 2:55 am

    just on the number thing, Jason Beck had two posts.

    “Nobody wore it this year after Trammell was out as manager. Sheffield was in a tough spot, because the numbers he has worn during his career — 10 and 11 — are associated with the current manager and the winningest manager in franchise history, respectively.”

    Trammell on #3:

    “I have no problem with that. I hope he does well. I think it was a very nice move by the Tigers to acquire him. He’s a super player.

    “He’s been a great player for a long period of time. But again, the number’s not retired. But just for [clubhouse manager] Jim [Schmakel] to call, it’s nice.”

    Of course Trammell is too classy to say anything negative, so we don’t know if he truly believes it, but I’ll choose to take his word for it.

  51. Bob S.

    November 18, 2006 at 3:37 am

    What can Trammell say about it that isn’t beneath him as a person and player?It’s a mistake to give #3 to anyone,and a bigger mistake it hasn’t been retired by the team yet.Tradition is one thing that sets the Tigers apart from other franchises and that tradition is being ignored by failing to honor one of their all-time greats and possibly one of the last players who will play their entire career in the same uniform.

  52. Eric Jackson

    November 19, 2006 at 3:41 pm

    I’m glad to see Casey back.

  53. Joshua M.

    November 19, 2006 at 5:02 pm

    Wow I think the biggest mistake about Shef getting the #3 is that it hasnt been retired yet. Trammell is one of the first names associated with the Detroit Tigers and for it to not be retired yet seems an injustice. I think Trammell has had to go through enough this past year without having to field questions about a new power hitter Illitch signed taking his old #. As far as the Casey signing I think the worst part of the deal is having to watch him lift that back leg between every single pitch. For that reason alone I hope Shelton has a big year. And I still wish we had signed Frank Catalanotto to play first his 2006 stats are (with caseys second:
    G-128 G-112
    AB-437 AB-397
    R-56 R-47
    H-131 H-108
    2B-36 2B-22
    3B-2 3B-0
    HR-7 HR-8
    RBI-56 RBI-59
    BB-52 BB-33
    K-37 K-43
    AVG-.300 AVG-.272
    OBP-.376 OBP-.336
    SLG-.439 SLG-.388
    OPS-.816 OPS-.724

    They are the same age and Cat has to be faster than Casey. Not to mention that against the AL Central the only team Casey hit higher than .300 against was the White Sox. (Cat’s avg’s second)
    CWS-.325 CWS-.304
    CLE-.267 CLE-.000(1 game 4 AB)
    KC-.212 KC-.357
    MIN-.100 MIN-.273

    Neither are great numbers but def comparable with Cat being faster and a better fielder than Casey in my opinion. Here are Cat’s # compared to Casey’s with runners on. Cat’s avg second
    Runners on-.320 .354
    RISP-.310 .330
    RISP w/2 out-.231 .375
    Bases Loaded-.250 .455
    Man on 3rd

  54. Andy in WB

    November 20, 2006 at 1:06 am

    What’s the big deal about a number? Tram will always be one of the best Tigers ever and his #3 will be retired eventually. Shef will eventually go into the Hall of Fame, but not as a Tiger. After Shef leaves, probably after 09, the Tigers can then retire the #3.

    Joe Schmitt allowed the Lions to Unretire his #, and he was already in the Hall of Fame.

    Regarding Sheff’s numbers, the only ones I care about are the one’s in the box score.


  55. Nick

    November 20, 2006 at 12:21 pm

    Adjusting Casey’s numbers to 550 AB’s is a bit misleading, since he’s onlyhad that many AB’s three times in his career, and once over the last three years.

    Since 2000his SLG has looked like this:


    If he hits like he did in 99,00 or 04 he’ll be an asset. Really, I think the best we can hope for is a 1B with no power but a .350+ OBP. If we get that we should be very happy, because I think we are just as likely to get the 02,03 or 06 Casey that is essentially useless on offense and not terribly impressive on defense.

  56. JOHN K.

    November 30, 2006 at 9:51 pm

    The bottom line with Sean Casey is he will provide the line drive hitter to hit in the gaps and play error less ball in the field. He will provide a higher on base percentage and his left hand bat will balance out the right handers. He is a great personality for the team chemistry. Win/Win situation Men!!!