Tigers, Santiago agree on two-year deal

Tigers, Santiago agree on two-year deal

Ramon Santiago figures to be an important piece of the Tigers' middle-infield equation in 2010, spelling Adam Everett at shortstop and rookie Scott Sizemore at second base.

The Tigers showed how much they value having Santiago in the fold by agreeing with him on a two-year contract, announced on Wednesday. With the deal, the Tigers and Santiago avoid salary arbitration.

The Associated Press reported that the two-year deal is worth $2.5 million.

Santiago appeared in 93 games last season, including 73 combined starts at second and short. He batted .267 (70-for-262) with six doubles, two triples, seven homers and 35 RBIs. The home run and RBI totals were career highs.

In 183 games with the Tigers since the start of the 2007 season, the switch-hitting Santiago has hit .274 with 17 doubles, five triples, 11 homers and 60 RBIs.

It's possible Santiago could see even more time at second in 2010, as Sizemore gets his feet wet in the Major Leagues. The infield prospect is taking over the starting duties at second from Placido Polanco, who departed in free agency and signed with the Phillies.

Santiago would have been eligible for free agency next winter. His contract is the first multiyear deal done by the Tigers since the Miguel Cabrera contract in 2008.

The Tigers now have 13 players from the 40-man roster under contract for 2010.

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.