Tigers unlikely for Yunel Escobar
On the surface, it seems like a logical match. The Tigers, for better or worse, have been looking at a potential defensive upgrade at shortstop and could swap out Jhonny Peralta to do it. The Marlins have two shortstops, no third basemen and are entertaining offers for Yunel Escobar.
Logistically, it makes sense, but word from multiple sources is that the Tigers aren’t interested, or at least don’t see a fit for him in Detroit.
From a pure baseball standpoint, you can make a case that Escobar is a better buy than free agent Stephen Drew. Escobar has had a higher Wins Above Replacement total in five of his six Major League seasons, including each of the last two. His lowest game total in a season over the last five years is 133 in 2011. Offensively and defensively, you know what you’re getting, though this was his weakest season at the plate. He’s under contract for $5 million next year, and he has a pair of $5 million club options after that.
It’s off the field where the appeal really wanes. He was suspended by the Blue Jays late this past season for a homophobic slur written onto his eye black, and he’s going to have to live that down for quite a long time, wherever he is. The Tigers just parted ways with a player whose off-field issues made headlines, Delmon Young, so there’s reason to wonder whether they would want to go through that again.