More Tigers: Smyly Decision Could Be Costly
Santiago, 33, has been the Tigers’ go-to utility guy for the past seven seasons. The switch-hitting infielder has spent most of his time in Detroit alternating between shortstop and second base, but has gotten the odd start at third base as well.
The veteran infielder has averaged exactly 100 games a year over the last four seasons, collecting about 300 plate appearances in each. Santiago put up a solid .263/.323/.362 line from 2009 through 2011, but his numbers took a massive nose dive last year.
Santiago appeared in 93 games for the Tigers in 2012 -- mostly as part of the club's revolving door at second base -- but hit just .206/.283/.272 with two home runs in 259 plate appearances. The veteran is having a much better go of things this spring, hitting .294/.458/.471 with a home run in 24 plate appearances.
Several clubs, including the Rangers and Giants, are reportedly in the market for a reserve infielder, so Santiago could very well find himself with a new club come Opening Day. Fellow utility men Ryan Theriot, Tyler Greene, and Freddy Sanchez are also options for clubs seeking an infielder.
If Santiago is dealt, Danny Worth will likely take on the role of primary reserve infielder for Detroit.