The Tigers have a handful of players whose future is in doubt with the organization. I figured we’d tackle them one at a time.
Sean Casey is one of 3 Tigers to declare for free agency which very much makes his future in Detroit in doubt, but that is just one of a handful of issues.
First there is the fact that Casey, while he did have his share of timely hits, just wan’t that good as a Tiger save for the post season. As Lee points out, Sean’s numbers during his time with the Tigers were worse than Chris Shelton’s awful July (which prompted the trade in the first place). During his stint with the Tigers Casey managed only a 286 OBP and he did it with out power. The lack of power isn’t a surprise really. Casey’s only had one decent slugging year since 2001. What was surprsing was an OBP 80 points below his career average over roughly 200 plate appearances.
Sean Casey has also proven to be pretty injury prone as he’s aged. We saw his calf explode against the A’s and he missed 6 weeks earlier in the season with back problems. We also know he’s had a bad hip, hence the leg raise thing. The older he gets, the more likely he is slowed by additional injuries.
So why would the Tigers want to re-sign Casey? It’s possible that he could come pretty cheap given all the above issues. He also could serve as a one year stop-gap in the event the Tigers can’t come up with another first base option. And by all accounts The Mayor is as good a guy as you’ll find in the clubhouse. He also had a very good World Series, but I’d hope Tiger brass wouldn’t be too swayed by his performance over 5 games.
Surprisingly, Sean Casey is a type A free agent. This means that should the Tigers offer Casey arbitration and if Casey were to sign with another team, the Tigers would receive the first round pick from the signing club (or 2nd round pick if the signing club is picking early) plus a sandwich pick between the 1st and 2nd rounds.
If the Tigers do offer arbitration, they have until December 1st to do so. Now why wouldn’t the Tigers offer salary arbitration? Because Sean Casey may accept. If he accepts arbitration the Tigers automatically have him signed to at least a one year deal (I say at least because the club and player can continue to negotiate a longer term deal). So they may be stuck with Sean Casey, and without draft picks.
Despite Sean Casey’s performance in the World Series, and the fact that he’s an easy guy to root for, I don’t see how the Tigers can resign him. He appears to have not much left in the tank, and that tank seems to be springing leaks with regularity. If for some reason he is signed, I would imagine it would be for a sliver of the $8.5 million he made last year with the understanding he would be a back-up.