Less than a week after the Detroit Tigers declined Jhonny Peralta‘s $7.25 million option, they have decided to bring him back.

According to the Associated Press, the Tigers have signed Peralta to a two-year, $11.25 million contract. Peralta hit .253/.314/.396 with eight home runs in 57 games for the Tigers last season after being acquired from the Cleveland Indians in July.

$5.6 million for Peralta is a fair deal. It’s not terrible, but its not great either.

After hitting .276/.331/.473 with 23 HR in 2008, Peralta has really fallen flat on his face the last two years. In the last two years, Peralta has hit .252/.313/.383 with 26 HR total.

It will be interesting to see what the Tigers do with Peralta. Remember, he played third last year for the Indians and Tigers, and the Tigers just resigned Brandon Inge to a two-year deal similar to the one Peralta just signed a couple of weeks ago.

The most likely scenario is that the Tigers will leave Inge at third and move Peralta back to short where he played on a full time basis from 2003–2008. My concern with this scenario is that Peralta really isn’t a shortstop anymore.

He has very limited range, and usually once a guy moves off of SS, he doesn’t get moved back. With Inge at third (two bad knees), Peralta at short (limited range) and Miguel Cabrera at first (below average defensively), the Tigers don’t look like they will be sporting the best defensive infield in 2011.

The Tigers have a boatload of money to spend this offseason and so far, they have used it, for better or worse, to secure their left side of their infield. I think their next targets will be C Victor Martinez, LF Carl Crawford, and I think they will be a sleeper for LHP Cliff Lee.

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