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Notes, Quotes - MLB - Baseball on Astini News

--RHP Jose Valverde's $9 million contract option for 2012 was picked up the Tigers. Valverde just completed the two-year, $14 million deal he got from the Tigers before the 2010 season. He had 26 saves in 2010 but then led the majors with a career-high 49 this year, when he became the third pitcher in major league history -- Brad Lidge of the Phillies and Eric Gagne of the Dodgers are the others -- to save at least 40 games without blowing a single chance.

--C Alex Avila may get less playing time next season in an effort to keep him from getting ground down by the end of the year. He appeared in 141 games (133 starts) this year. He had the most starts and innings (1,157) in the league this season among catchers, and those were the highest totals by a Tigers catcher since Brad Ausmus in 2000 (140 starts, 1,231 1/3 innings). But Avila got just three postseason hits, and Detroit couldn't get him any time off because he was the only viable option. A backup catcher who can play about once a week is on Detroit's offseason shopping list.

"I don't think I'll have to get any type of surgery," Avila said. "And if that's the case, then two or three weeks of not doing anything and I'll be good as new."

--1B Miguel Cabrera told a Venezuelan newspaper that he will decline an invitation to play for a team of All-Stars who will have a short exhibition series in Taiwan the first week of November. Cabrera will skip the games to rest his sore shoulder, injured in a collision at home plate with Texas C Mike Napoli in Game 4 of the AL Championship Series. Cabrera was scheduled to play for the MLB team against the Chinese Taipei national team in a series of five games Nov. 1-6 in three different cities.

--SS Jhonny Peralta ended up hitting .299 in his first full season with Detroit. Peralta would have been at .300 with just one fewer at-bat. He hit 21 home runs and drove in 86 runs in 141 games at short. He enters the 2012 season in the second year of a two-year deal that also has an option for 2013.

--LF Delmon Young had the same number of RBI, 32, with Detroit as he did for Minnesota this year. Young did it in 168 at-bats for the Tigers, however, and 305 for the Twins. He hit .274 for Detroit and .266 for Minnesota. The Tigers had him hit third most of the time, while the Twins had him in the bottom half of their batting order most of the time. Young is eligible for arbitration this winter and can become a free agent after the 2012 season.

--3B Wilson Betemit probably doesn't figure in Detroit's 2012 plans, if his lack of playing time against Texas in the AL Championship Series is any indication. Betemit didn't get off the bench against the Rangers, and he hit poorly against the Yankees in the divisional round. Still, in 40 games with Detroit after being obtained from Kansas City, Betemit hit .292 with five home runs and 19 RBI. He can become a free agent after the World Series.

--RHP Joaquin Benoit had a 1.33 ERA the second half of the season, probably better than what Detroit expected when it signed him to a three-year deal worth more than $15 million. Benoit struggled in the early part of the season but was given some time off to work on his mechanics and then used in some non-crucial situations so he could implement his corrections.

22 -- Walks received by Detroit batters in the six-game playoff series with Texas for the AL championship. Not one of them scored.

"I think we have a very good team that'll be together and contending for a long time. The pitching staff is gonna get better; it's a young staff. We're a pretty good team already, and I think as the years go on, you learn more, and you can't put a price on that experience." -- C Alex Avila.

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