There has been much speculation this off-season that the Tigers will try to obtain a shortstop with better range, but it appears more and more that Jhonny Peralta will remain the starter in 2013.

There were few options in free agency, including Stephen Drew, who signed with Boston.

The Tigers are believed to have mild interest in Cuban defector Aledmys Diaz. There's conflicting reports about whether he's 23 or 22. Teams can sign players 23 or older without it counting against their bonus signing pool.

Barring a trade, it looks as if Peralta, 30, will remain with the Tigers. Peralta told reporters he has lost weight and has worked hard in the off-season to approve his agility.

There isn't anyone in the farm system ready to challenge him.

Eugenio Suarez still is viewed as the possible long-term solution, as well as Dixon Machado.

Asked about Suarez by a fan at TigerFest on Saturday, assistant general manager Al Avila said: "We like him a lot. We feel that he's going to be a major league shortstop."

Avila said Suarez probably will play at high Class A Lakeland or possibly Double-A Erie this season.

Suarez, 21, hit .288 in 135 games last season at low Class A West Michigan, including six home runs, 67 RBIs, 34 doubles, 82 runs and 21 stolen bases. He made 18 errors.

Dixon Machado, who turns 21 on Feb. 22, is another possibility. Machado made 18 errors last season at Class A Lakeland. He hit .195 with 59 runs and 23 steals.

"We feel both guys are major league prospects," Avila said. "Suarez has hit much better than Machado, for sure. Defensively, Machado is probably a little bit above (Suarez). You'd like to have that combination, but they're both still in that developmental stage. I would say probably at least a couple years away."