After filling in for often injured catcher Alex Avilla, it appears Gerald Laird is being shown the door by the Detroit Tigers. Laird is seeking more playing time and more money, which he will not find in Detroit in 2013.
The Tigers backup catcher played in 63 games during the 2012 season. Laird had a batting average of .282 and contributed 49 hits, two home runs, and 11 RBIs for the Tigers. In the 2012 postseason, Laird struggled at the plate only having one hit in 20 at-bats. Laird has also played with the St. Louis Cardinals, and Texas Rangers.
Laird has only played in 100 games twice in his ten seasons. Laird played in 120 games for the 2007 Rangers, and 135 games for the 2009 Tigers. The backup catcher did record his second highest batting average in the 2012 season.
Laird played with the Tigers in 2009 and 2010, and was brought back as a free agent for the 2012 season. Laird was paid $1 million for his contributions as the backup.
With the catcher seeking more playing time and money, team general manager Dave Dombrowski had this to say, “He’s looking for a little more finances. That’s not going to come from us.” Laird has been told to test the open market to see if he can get what he is looking for from another MLB club.
Avilla played in 116 games for the 2012 Tigers. Avilla hit .243 with 9 home runs and 48 RBIs. Taken in the fifth round of the 2008 MLB Draft, Avilla has blossomed into the Tigers every day starter and has already had an All-Star Game appearance.
If the Tigers lose Laird, they will turn to rookie Bryan Holaday to backup Avilla in 2013. Holaday was drafted by the Tigers in the sixth round of the 2010 MLB Draft. Holaday became one of a handful of 2010 draftees to play in the majors with his 2012 debut.
The Tigers prospect played in six games, when Avilla was hurt. Holaday had three hits and registered a batting average of .250. Tigers management remains confident in the prospect as the 2013 backup.