CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 5: Adam Everett #8 of the Cleveland Indians throws to first during the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Progressive Field on June 5, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Rangers defeated the Indians 2-0 and swept the four game series. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Like every team before them, the Cleveland Indians acquired Adam Everett under the idea that he'd be able to give them an elite infield glove to use at their disposal. There was one little problem with this entire situation: Everett is 34, and defensive skills, which are often dependent on athleticism, often peak before offensive ones.
So while Everett was capable of making up for his particularly horrid bat during his mid-to-late 20's with the Astros, declining defensive skills have taken away that balance.
The Indians learned this the hard way, as they gave Everett 67 plate appaearances over the course of 34 games, and not only did he struggle with the bat, but he also posted the worst defensive numbers of his career as well. Even if you assume that his poor UZR mark is affected by the plights of small sample size, it's worth considering that at 34, he's been showing signs of defensive decline for years.
Expected to be able to back up Asdrubal Cabrera at shortstop, Everett quickly proved to be over-matched. And with the call-up of Cord Phelps pushing Orlando Cabrera into a utility infielder role, the former Astro became essentially superfluous. Cleveland acknowledged this today, making him a free agent with his release.
This is probably the end of the road for Everett, but he did spend four years as a solid regular for the Astros despite offensive numbers that would embarrass Ryan Theriot. His +25.2 UZR from 2006 is the highest single-season mark recorded by a shortstop since data began to be collected in 2002, and only Omar Vizquel has also surpassed the +20 marker.