INDIANAPOLIS -- What had been negotiations on hold for Adam Everett quickly became a deal Monday evening. The two sides agreed to terms on a one-year contract, bringing back the shortstop credited with helping improve Detroit's infield defense.
The $1.55 million deal came together quickly, just hours after negotiations seemed to be in a holding pattern and Everett was drawing some interest from the Pirates. The Tigers, meanwhile, had been talking with the agent for fellow free-agent shortstop Bobby Crosby. No meeting between the Tigers and Everett's agent, Keith Grunewald, had been scheduled Monday, though the two sides were expected to talk this week.
The deal came together minutes before team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski was scheduled to meet with local beat writers to discuss the opening day of the Winter Meetings. In the end, Everett decided to stay with a situation he liked.
It was around the first day of last year's Winter Meetings that the Tigers reached an agreement with Everett, then coming off an injury-shortened campaign with the Twins. He rebounded in 2009 by retaking his role among the better defensive shortstops in baseball.
Everett's 8.9 Ultimate Zone Rating, a measure of balls hit into a position player's area that he should get, ranked fourth among Major League shortstops. He committed 14 errors out of 457 total chances over 118 games for a .969 fielding percentage.
Everett's offense, never his strength, still ended up better than many expected when he signed. He batted .238 with 21 doubles, three home runs and 44 RBIs, while batting .270 with runners in scoring position. He hit .364 (8-for-22) with a runner on third and two out.
Everett's return, or some sort of veteran shortstop, became all the more important once the Tigers officially lost free agent second baseman Placido Polanco to the Phillies last week.
"Basically, we have our infield back except for the change at second base," said team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski, whose team now will count on rookie Scott Sizemore to take over at second.
Everett will continue to take the bulk of the duty at shortstop, with Ramon Santiago being mixed in.
The sudden deal might all but ensure that the Tigers will not be getting a Major League-ready shortstop in return in a trade, whether it's in a much-rumored package for Edwin Jackson, Curtis Granderson or both. Detroit has been linked with interest in Cubs prospect Starlin Castro, but every indication suggests Chicago will not give him up in any deal. Considering it's a one-year deal, the Tigers could still pursue shortstop prospects who might be further away from being ready.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.