Adam Everett was due to get a raise in whatever contract he signed for next season. The $1 million the Detroit Tigers paid him last season came with a rather significant injury discount, as Everett was coming off a shoulder injury and needed to show he could play through a full season healthy.
Having done that, and given the increasing emphasis throughout baseball on defense over offense, Everett's price tag is surely going to increase on this year's open market. Confirmation of that came with the Blue Jays' signing of Alex Gonzalez over the holiday weekend.
Gonzalez agreed to a one-year, $2.75 million contract (with a $2.5 team option for 2011). And he's a pretty similar player to Everett. Gonzalez hit .238/.279/.355 this season, while Everett hit .238/.288/.325. Gonzalez showed a bit more pop, with eight homers to Everett's three. Their RBI totals were roughly the same, with Gonzalez driving in 41 to Everett's 44.
Defensively, UZR favors Everett (8.9) over Gonzalez (6.7), but not by a wide margin. Both are roughly the same age, turning 33 in February.
So if Gonzalez is worth nearly $3 million on the open market, what sort of contract can Everett expect to receive?
And if the Tigers wouldn't go that high to sign Everett, they almost surely wouldn't be in the running for Marco Scutaro or Orlando Cabrera. Both players are reportedly seeking two-year deals worth at least $5 million per season, based on their offensive numbers. That price tag compelled the Blue Jays to opt for Gonzalez and his greater defensive value instead. And we already know how much the Tigers favor defense over offense at the shortstop position.