12/08/08 7:35 PM EST
Tigers close in on shortstop Everett
Club awaiting results from physical to ink veteran to one-year deal
By Jason Beck / MLB.com
Team officials had no comment, while the results of the physical were pending.
Everett, who will turn 32 in February, hit .213 with two home runs and 20 RBIs in just 48 games of an injury-plagued 2008 season for the Twins. His .967 fielding percentage was his lowest mark since he became a full-time shortstop with the Astros in '03. Part of his struggles stemmed from an injured throwing shoulder, which has now completely healed.
By adding Everett, the Tigers would further their effort to shore up their infield defense alongside third baseman Brandon Inge, who returns to his natural position. The combined range of the two should be a significant upgrade form last season, helping a Tigers pitching staff that struggled last year with unearned runs.
The deal also ends the long-running negotiations between the Tigers and Pirates for Jack Wilson and negotiations that led to a story about a done deal last week that proved premature. A Major League source said the Pirates' demands for top-level prospects in a return package for Wilson became more of an obstacle than Wilson's contract, which includes a $7.25 million salary for 2009 and either an $8.4 million club option or a $600,000 buyout for '10.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.