The Tigers have already locked up one infielder (Brandon Inge) before the start of the free agency period, and now they may be on the verge of re-signing another. Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that Detroit is "expected" to spend $0.25MM to buy out Jhonny Peralta's $7MM option for 2011 and instead work out a two-year contract with the shortstop. Morosi predicts Peralta's new deal will be worth "a little less" than the $11.5MM that Inge will earn over the two guaranteed years of his contract.
Peralta had a .703 OPS in 2010, including a .253/.314/.396 line in 242 plate appearances as a Tiger. He provides solid power from the shortstop position, which is a big plus on a Detroit team that didn't generate much pop beyond Miguel Cabrera and the possibly-departing Magglio Ordonez. Without Peralta, the Tigers would be forced to explore the very thin shortstop market for a replacement that would've very likely been a downgrade.
Morosi also mentions that Peralta's pending return to Detroit puts an end to any thought of Michigan native Derek Jeter suiting up for his home-state team if he somehow couldn't reach an agreement with the Yankees.