Tigers, Laird reportedly close to a reunion

The Tigers’ search for a catcher to back up All-Star Alex Avila is apparently leading them back to the catcher who mentored Avila when he first reached the big leagues.

When Gerald Laird and the Tigers parted ways a year ago, Laird was looking for playing time. He ended up as a little-used backup to Yadier Molina in St. Louis this year, but now appears headed back to Detroit. Foxsports.com reports that Laird is close to a deal that would return him to Detroit.

Laird fits the profile of what the Tigers are looking for in a backup. He’s a right-handed hitter with a good amount of experience, good defense and calls a good game. He brings the added bonus of experience working with Tigers pitchers, including Justin Verlander and Rick Porcello for two years.

Laird was the Tigers’ primary catcher in 2009, having been acquired from Texas in a trade for prospects that included Guillermo Moscoso. He batted .225 with four homers and 33 RBIs in 135 games that year for a team that came within a tiebreaker of the AL Central title and had Avila as a late-season call-up. Laird and Avila split time catching in 2010, but Avila got the bulk of the starts down the stretch.

A reunion at this point makes sense. The Tigers went through last year with Victor Martinez backing up Avila, but now don’t want the wear and tear on their designated hitter as he approaches his 33rd birthday next month. Laird hit the market looking for playing time last year, but is now at the stage of his career where he’ll find better opportunities as a No. 2.

23 Comments

I have no problem with this! He is an above average catcher. His bat is another story, but there aren’t many great hitting catchers out there especially back ups!

I can hear the comments already. Leave the man alone. He is a very good defensive catcher and probably helped make Avila the catcher his is today. If he gets a hit now and then, count your blessings.

if he hits over the mendoza line, can put down 40 starts, can throw out > 35% and have less than 10 passed balls – then he cool. If he doesn’t do any of that then we shouldda gotten someone else. I think he will tho. Lets hope the deal is for 1 M $ of less so we can still get a bullpen piece worth a crap.

This would be fine with me. Gerald can also lay down a mean bunt when required. I think he may have overvalued his own worth last year but he’s certainly welcome back in my book. He can show off his World Series ring.

Yes, Rich. Bring that bling in the clubhouse and let ‘em look!

The Astros will join the AL West. 2 more wild card teams will be added. The World Series was not meant to be played in November!

I am real interested in how they they handle at least one inter league game always being played. If they expand the overall number of these games, you would have to think the AL clubs sooner rather than later head towards playing under NL rules.

inter league reminds me: how will we get VMart into the interleague games this year?

I think their are many benefits getting g money back. He has a very good arm for controlling the running game. His ws experience will strengthen our playoff mindset. He knows our pitchers which means he is that much ahead of any other backup catcher we were considering. Yes his bat isnt all that but think. Now late in a game they could pinch hit avilia when games close. Hope they practice ph with him in spring training.

Laird used to have a good arm with he threw out 42% in 2009…..he’s declined to a meager 20% last year. I hope he can get it back to >35% this year

Les room on the bench now! Another catcher (who alas, can’t play anywere else) will mean the Tigers need versatility on that bench. Kelly & Raburn give them that but you need a pure infielder too. With Ramon going, Danny Worth’s stock increases. But what will happen with Dirks?
Of course all this changes if they make a trade. We still need a solid, everyday 2 way playing infielder who can preferably lead off.

With so much emphasis put on hitting and average, it is when you get the hits. I welcome Laird as he will know his roll. Avila had a great year so he needs to keep healthly. 29 degrees here this morning so….is it Spring yet?

Fu Te Ni will make his play his first game in Venezuela today. He will start in the Lions- Magellan game, the equivalent of Boston- NY , or better Giants- Dodgers , here.
Justin Henry ,playing LF, numbers: .294/.384/.705 0 HR. 10 RBIS. 10 R. His lacks power but he plays in a stadium that can no be described just as pitcher friendly, it is more like a batters graveyard.

I think we end up overpaying for Prado. It appears DD is targeting him. Let’s just not get totally fleeced by Atlanta again.

One for one and Detroit eating part of Young salary ( After signing him to avoid arbitration). That would be a fair trade. Prado is one year removed from ending 9th for MVP.He was affected by position change to LF.He could play 3B instead of 2B.
More pressing, who would play LF? Sizemore? It would mean a bet in all the OF. Boesch coming from an injury.AJax trying to be like the 2010 RoY runner up and Guillen trying to be out of the DL, I mean Sizemore

Atlanta is not trading Prado for Young. Braves folks don’t like him.

LF? I like Andy Dirks. He is up and coming. He now has some experience. He has speed, a decent arm, will dive for a ball and a leftie at the plate.

But like Worths, and Sizemore( our) does not have JL confidence.
And Dirks or Raburn are the backups in RF .They could end short in the OF

1 million , pending physical, for Laird.

If Young goes they will assign Raburn to LF. You can bet on that.
Dirks may be ready. At least the guy is willing to get dirty. He brings some speed with his game too, along with Boesch that’s not too shabby. Not sure there will be room for him on the bench with Kelly, Inge, Raburn, an infielder and Laird around though.
Hope you are enjoying Venezuelan Beisbol!

Today, my team will be playing the Chinita´s day classic . A baseball game has been played since 1934 as part of a religious celebration. My team is 21-21 on this day ( They entered the league in 1969)and will be playing againts Don Baylor´s last place team( Not for long , he is on the verge of being fired, he is suffering headaches like Sparky in 1990). Last night they were no hitted until the 8th. But they are still in the last playoff spot.
Before the game 1:30 pm. ( 2:00 est time). Miguel Cabrera will receive the Luis Aparicio Award. As I explained before, in november 18th , 1948, Luis Aparicio Jr received the glove from his father Luis Aparicio the Great ( the stadium where they will play is named after him).

Miguel Cabrera interview:
He expects to put more numbers. Aparicio said him that he still have a long way to go and to give.
His goals for 2012: consistency and keep himself healthy to take the team to the playoff.
When asked about 50 HRs, he said :hardly where I play.
The ceremony is simple.Luis Aparicio and the directive of the local team in the mound handed Miguel a litlle statue of Luis Aparicio Jr. Thsi time an especial edition with 11/11/11 on it.
The correct data of the glove handing:18/11/1953. Aparicio was 19 YO

And never mind about the question about rule 5. They have plenty of room in the roster

If Laird is added to the roster , who will be risked to the rule 5 draft?

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