LAKELAND, Fla. There were many who did not expect to see Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta back in Detroit after he batted .239 with 13 home runs and 63 RBI in 2012. The club could live with his limited defensive range as long as he was productive with the bat, but his second-half offensive swoon greatly diminished his value.
Even when Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski opted to pick up the final option year of Peralta's three-year contract, folks figured it was just to have him secured for a trade. That avenue was explored.
But two significant things happened since Peralta finished the season in which he had his lowest batting average and fewest RBI total since coming up to stay in the majors in 2005 with the Cleveland Indians.
First, he had a monster of a postseason. Had Peralta not made several fielding gems with runners in scoring position and collected three hits in Game 1 of the ALCS against the New York Yankees, Detroit most certainly wouldve lost that contest. The whol...