Sean Casey's return home to Pittsburgh lasted less than a year. The Tigers had been looking for a lefthanded bat and found one Monday by landing Casey. Pirates general manager Dave Littlefield has developed a reputation for putting a high price tag on his players, but he accepted marginal prospect Brian Rogers in return for Casey.
Casey, 32, joined Pittsburgh in a December trade with the Reds for Dave Williams. He'll take Detroit's first-base job from Chris Shelton, who hit 10 homers in April but just six since and was optioned to Triple-A following the trade. Casey doesn't have Shelton's pop—his power ranks near the bottom among big league starting first basemen—but he's a better hitter and fielder. Casey has batted .296/.377/.408 with three homers and 29 RBIs in 59 games after missing six weeks early in the season with a back injury. He's making $8.5 million this year and will become a free agent when his four-year, $28.7 million contract expires afterward. He's a career .304/.371/.460 hitter with 121 homers and 634 RBIs in 1,140 games.
Rogers, a 24-year-old righthander, was an 11th-round pick out of Georgia Southern in 2003. His two best attributes are his slider and his command, and he has a high-80s fastball. In 37 games this year at Double-A Erie, he has gone 3-2, 2.39 with one save. He has a 69-14 K-BB ratio in 64 innings, while opponents are batting .210 with seven homers against him.