By RICKY LINDSAY, Staff Writer
The Detroit Tigers have started their off-season activities after the dust has settled from being swept in the 2012 World Series.
The team is bringing back manager Jim Leyland for the 2013 season. In seven years as the Tigers’ manager, Leyland has a record of 607-528 with two American League titles.
The Tigers also picked up their team options on shortstop Jhonny Peralta and reliever Octavio Dotel. Peralta’s option is worth $6 million, while Dotel’s is $3.5 million.
Peralta struggled in his second season with the Tigers. He hit .239 with 13 home runs and 63 RBI’s. Peralta was strong defensively in 2012, posting a .988 fielding percentage, which ranked second among American League shortstops.
If the Tigers deem necessary, Peralta could be easily tradeable. The Arizona Diamondbacks have showed interest at the trade deadline this past season. Texas Rangers’ shortstop Elvis Andrus could be an option if the Tigers want an upgrade.
Dotel also returns to the Tigers in 2013. In his first season with Detroit, Dotel went 5-3 with 11 holds, a 3.57 ERA, and 62 strikeouts.
The Tigers also announced that the club will not re-sign Jose Valverde or Delmon Young, allowing both players to become free agents.
Valverde leaves the team after three season. He frustrated Tigers’ fans for most of this season, going 3-4 with a 3.78 ERA and 35 saves. In four postseason games, Valverde posted a 30.37 ERA after allowing nine runs, leading towards his inevitable fate with the team.
Young, the Tigers’ playoff hero the past two postseasons, leaves the team with the return of Victor Martinez. Young hit .267 with 18 home runs and 74 RBI’s this past season. He was, however, clutch in the postseason, hitting .313 with three home runs and nine RBI’s.