The Tigers’ shortstop options without Drew
The Tigers’ options at shortstop just cleared up without a single move.
Their options will not include a June run at Stephen Drew, who signed back with the Red Sox on Tuesday for a one-run contract that will pay him the prorated portion of the $14.1 million qualifying offer that was made in December.
How serious of an option Drew was is a matter of interpretation.
“I know it’s been talked about a lot [publicly],” manager Brad Ausmus said, “but it really hasn’t been discussed internally.”
“We never made an offer,” team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said.
Dombrowski has indicated more than once that their first look if they decided to make any changes would be internal. That front just cleared up, too.
Coincidence or not, the Tigers made an organizational shift Tuesday night, promoting shortstop prospect Eugenio Suarez from Double-A Erie to Triple-A Toledo. The 22-year-old Venezuelan went 3-for-5 with a double and three RBIs earlier in the evening, bumping his average to .284 (44-for-155) with 14 doubles, six home runs, 29 RBIs and an .850 OPS.
The move almost surely means the end for Hernan Perez as an everyday shortstop at Toledo. His basic numbers at shortstop seemed OK, with six errors committed in 43 games. Offensively, however, he has been in a funk for most of the month, batting just .200 (15-for-75) in May after hitting .277 in April.
Suarez made a big impression on Tigers officials with his performance in Spring Training, both before and after the degree of Jose Iglesias’ injury became clear, but everyone agreed that he needed more seasoning. He started out at Erie once the Tigers decided to give Perez a look at shortstop.
Tuesday’s move gives the Tigers a chance to look at Suarez at a higher level before they make a decision. It also provides some notice in Detroit that Suarez is about an hour away. That said, the Andrew Romine/Danny Worth has done the job defensively, despite offensive struggles.
With Drew gone, the Tigers no longer have any decision to make around draft time. At some point this summer, though, they’ll have to decide whether they’re willing to commit to their shortstop mix for the stretch run, and what to do if they aren’t. They could conceivably decide to give Suarez a look ahead of the July 31 trade deadline. They could also hold off and leave Suarez as an option by himself depending on his development in Toledo.