Brandon Inge Rumors
As of today, Brandon Inge has ten years of big league service. They've all been with Detroit, so the third baseman now has ten and five rights, which means the Tigers now need Inge's permission to trade him.
Inge, who signed a two-year, $11.5MM deal last offseason, now has limited trade value, so the point is mostly moot from a transactions standpoint. The 34-year-old has a .215/.284/.291 line 178 plate appearances into the season. Inge's calling card has always been power, but he has just nine extra base hits this year. He told MLBTR last month that he hopes to wear the old English 'D' for a long time.
Thursday night Quick Hits..
- Brandon Inge will pick up ten and five rights next Wednesday, according to John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press. That means the Tigers will need permission to trade Inge, who would like to spend the rest of his career in Detroit.
- Troy Renck of The Denver Post (via Twitter) could see the Rockies pursuing free agent catcher Bengie Molina. However, Renck tweets that the veteran would like to be in the majors right away and move through the minors quickly, which could be a hurdle.
- The Cubs have been looking hard for someone like Rodrigo Lopez, GM Jim Hendry told Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. Earlier today, Hendry acquired Lopez in exchange for left-hander Ryan Buchter.
- The Erik Bedard deal looks a whole lot better for the Mariners now that the left-hander is back to his winning ways as of late, opines Greg Johns of MLB.com.
- Landing pitcher Alfredo Aceves appears to have paid off big time for the Red Sox through the first two months of the season, writes Tim Britton of the The Providence Journal.
The longest-tenured Tiger doesn’t have any plans to suit up for anyone else. Brandon Inge says he admires Tigers greats Al Kaline and Alan Trammell and wants to follow their example and remain with one team for his entire career. That’s why he signed an extension with the Tigers last October, when he was weeks away from hitting the open market, where 29 other teams could bid for his services.
“I never really thought about going anywhere else,” Inge told MLBTR. “I know it was out there and I probably could have gone somewhere else, but there’s as good a chance as any of winning here with the amount of talent we have on this team. For me it was kind of a no-brainer. If they offered me a contract and it was fair, I was probably going to take it and they did.”
Inge, Detroit's second round pick in 1998, signed a two-year, $11.5MM contract in October. His offensive output - a .207/.262/.297 line with one homer and seven doubles - has been disappointing so far. Every month matters, but the Tigers knew what they were getting when they signed the 33-year-old after a decade in Detroit that included a 119-loss season (2003) and an American League Championship (2006).
“I guess loyalty is something big that I believe in and Detroit’s been very loyal to me for many years now, through thick and thin,” Inge said. “It’s one of those things where they’ve treated me with respect and I’ve treated them with respect as well.”
It’s an affiliation Inge would like to continue beyond 2013, the last year he’s under team control.
“Absolutely,” Inge said. “I’ll stay as long as they’ll let me.”
On this date in 1974, the Yankees and Giants swapped Bobby Bonds and Bobby Murcer in one of the many deals that had Bonds packing his bags. Now, the Yankees and Giants are preoccupied with something else entirely: trying to reach the World Series. Here are today's links...
- Dodgers assistant GM Logan White isn’t going anywhere. He was a candidate to become the Mets’ next GM, but he’ll be staying with the Dodgers, according to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick (on Twitter).
- Brandon Inge, who just signed an extension that will keep him in Detroit through 2012, says he hopes to stay there until the Tigers kick him out, according to Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press.
- Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com wonders if the Orioles should make a play for Mark Reynolds. The D'Backs third baseman would instantly become Baltimore's most powerful hitter.
- MLB.com’s Lyle Spencer suggests the Angels rank the best free agent hitters in this order: Carl Crawford, Adrian Beltre, Jayson Werth and Adam Dunn.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post wonders if the Cubs and Angels will pursue Cliff Lee this winter and suggests the lefty has set himself up for a six-year $150MM deal.
The longest tenured Tiger is staying in Detroit. The Tigers announced that they signed Brandon Inge to a two-year extension with a club option for 2013. Inge's deal is worth $11.5MM, according to MLB.com's Jason Beck (on Twitter). The third baseman earns $5.5MM in 2011 and 2012 and will either earn $6MM or a $500K buyout in 2013. Inge's four-year $24MM deal expired after the season, and he soon began discussing a multi-year extension with the Tigers.
Inge, 33, batted .247/.321/.397 last year with 13 homers. As usual, the ten-year veteran showed some power, struck out frequently and hit for a low average. According to UZR, Inge also played above-average defense for the sixth consecutive season. Though he no longer contributes behind the plate or in the outfield, Inge gives the Tigers excellent defense at the hot corner.
Early in the season, I suggested the 2009 All-Star was headed for a $4-6MM guarantee, but Inge did considerably better than that. The extension gives Scott Boras one less potential destination for Adrian Beltre, the best player on this year's free agent third base market.
Let's round up the highlights from Nick Cafardo's Sunday column for the Boston Globe....
- One AL executive tells Cafardo that he's never seen so many candidates interviewed for managerial openings: "It’s amazing to me that you wouldn’t know within, say, two or three candidates who you want. But I guess in some cases the GM’s job is also on the line if he picks the wrong guy."
- Matt Stairs would like to play for at least one more season. While he says he'd like to return to Boston, he concedes that he'd probably play "anywhere."
- An NL scout was positive about A.J. Pierzynski, suggesting that he'll be one of the most attractive catching options on the free agent market, behind Victor Martinez and John Buck. "With A.J., you know he’s not going to throw people out," said the scout. "But there’s nothing wrong with his receiving and he can still hit. I know the fire he has can rub people the wrong way, but I think that’s great for a team."
- Brandon Inge has a good chance of landing a starting role this winter, given the lack of free agent third base options after Adrian Beltre. However, Cafardo wonders if Inge could eventually become a Bill Hall-esque utility player, given his ability to play a few different positions.
- Possible bullpen targets for the Red Sox include Joaquin Benoit, Jesse Crain, Matt Guerrier, Jason Frasor, Scott Downs, and Brian Fuentes.
- A market appears to be developing for Lance Berkman. Teams like the Rockies, Orioles, Mets, Blue Jays, and Diamondbacks could have interest.
- Carlos Delgado underwent another hip procedure two and a half weeks ago, but is rehabbing the hip and feels like he'll be able to play in 2011.
The Tigers made quite a bit of noise yesterday, declining to pick up Magglio Ordonez's option and announcing that they would not pursue Cliff Lee or another top tier free agent starting pitcher, among several other things. John Lowe of The Detroit Free Press has some more today...
- First base (Miguel Cabrera) and centerfield (Austin Jackson) are the only positions set in stone for next year, and they plan to fill several others from within. Alex Avila (.228/.316/.340 in 333 plate appearances) will take over as the starting catcher, and Ryan Raburn (.280/.340/.474 in 410 PA) will essentially have a full-time outfield job. Second base will also be filled from within, with Will Rhymes and Scott Sizemore representing the early favorites. Once he returns from knee surgery, Carlos Guillen is expected to be a "jack of all trades."
- The Tigers do have interest in bringing Ordonez back, presumably at a rate much lower than the $15MM option they declined. That could fill the hole at designated hitter.
- Dave Dombrowski acknowledged that Brandon Inge's defense is why they want him back, but they feel he can chip in double digit homers as well. Yesterday we heard that the two sides were discussing a multi-year contract.
- Brennan Boesch, who hit .163/.237/.222 in the second half after a .342/.397/.593 first half, will "have to step up" like any young player who wants a full-time job according to the GM.
- Dombrowski told Tom Gage of The Detroit News that he wants to add a middle-of-the-order bat, and he would prefer it to be a lefthanded hitter (Twitter link). Cabrera led the league with 32 intentional walks, so finding him some protection is a must. Some notable lefty bats that will be on the free agent market: Adam Dunn, Russell Branyan, Brad Hawpe, and Hideki Matsui, though all of those guys are defensively challenged.
GM Dave Dombrowski announced that the Tigers will not pick up Magglio Ordonez's $15MM club option for 2011, reports Tom Gage of The Detroit News. Dombrowski did say that the team remains open-minded about bringing Ordonez back, however.
Meanwhile, Dombrowski also said the team wants to bring third baseman Brandon Inge back, and confirmed that the two sides have discussed a multi-year deal. Jhonny Peralta is another player they'd like to bring back according to Gage. The Tigers did however inform Johnny Damon and Gerald Laird that they will not be re-signed, according to MLB.com's Jason Beck (via Twitter). Dombrowski added that they "most likely" will choose not to pursue Jeremy Bonderman either.
Ordonez's option was likely to vest if not for a season ending-ankle injury in late-July. He hit .303/.378/.474 with more walks (40) than strikeouts (38) in 365 plate appearances before the injury, a nice rebound from a down 2009 campaign. Inge is in the final season of a four-year, $24MM deal, though his .247/.321/.392 batting line is the worst of any full season of his career. Thankfully his defense at the hot corner is strong, with a +10.3 UZR since 2008. A multi-year offer might be too good for Inge to pass up.
Peralta was acquired from the Indians at the trade deadline, and hit .254/.315/.399 in 238 plate appearances for Detroit. He played mostly shortstop after the trade, the most action he's gotten at the position since 2008. The Tigers hold a $7MM club option for his services next season, but they'll likely buy that out for $250K and attempt to negotiate a lower salary.
Damon hit .271/.355/.401 after signing a one-year, $8MM deal last offseason, while Laird mustered just a .218/.289/.313 batting line in his two seasons with Detroit. He's fantastic defensively though, having thrown out 72 of 189 potential base stealers (38.1%) during that time. The 27-year-old Bonderman stayed healthy for the first time since 2007 this year, though he posted a 5.53 ERA in 171 innings. He's just wrapping up a four-year, $38MM deal and will hit free agency for the first time.
Some links to check out after the Rangers clinched their first AL West title since 1999...
- Brandon Webb will meet with new Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers next week to discuss his immediate future, according to MLB.com's Steve Gilbert and Andrew Pentis. Webb acknowledged that he's not 100% back from shoulder surgery, but he wants to be activated next week to showcase himself before hitting the free agent market.
- Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com says that the Pirates have begun the process of evaluating their relievers. It's safe to say that Evan Meek and Joel Hanrahan are the only guys guaranteed jobs next year.
- Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun Times tweets that Ozzie Guillen said the Cubs would be an option if he does not return to the White Sox next season.
- Carlos Pena doesn't think his struggles this season (.200/.329/.412) are the result of him putting too much pressure on himself in advance of free agency, writes Tony Fabrizio of The Tampa Tribune.
- Michael Baron of Metsblog.com says that the Mets shouldn't rule out any kind of trade that can improve the roster, even if it includes David Wright or Jose Reyes.
- Felipe Lopez told FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal that he rejected the Padres' waiver claim because he wouldn't have felt like part of the team (all Twitter links). Lopez wouldn't have been eligible for San Diego's playoff roster if he helped them clinch a playoff spot.
- ESPN's Buster Olney (Insider req'd) says that some within the Orioles organization view Victor Martinez as someone who could serve as a backup catcher and mentor to Matt Wieters while still getting plenty of at-bats at first base and designated hitter. We learned of Baltimore's interest in V-Mart yesterday.
- With their contracts set to expire after the season, the futures of long time Tigers Jeremy Bonderman and Brandon Inge are up in the air, writes Lynn Henning of The Detroit News.
- Mark Gonzales of The Chicago Tribune reports Ozzie Guillen indicated that any decision about his future will first go through his family. Ozzie's status beyond this season has been uncertain of late.
- MLB president and COO Bob DuPuy is expected to move out of his current role according to Olney, though the timing of the move is unclear. DuPuy was viewed by some as a potential successor to commissioner Bud Selig, who has indicated that he will retire when his contract is up in two years.
- Last, but certainly not least, hello to MLBTR reader Aaron Hill! He was caught checking out MLBTR in this clubhouse video tour with Shaun Marcum.
Saturday afternoon linkage..
- Ken Gurnick of MLB.com tweets that the Dodgers have left Manny Ramirez out of the lineup for a third consecutive game. One has to wonder if this means that the Dodgers are ready to send Ramirez to the White Sox.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter) asked Twins GM Bill Smith if the club's payroll has reached $100MM. He responded, "I've quit checking."
- There's no evidence yet of serious trade talks between the Dodgers and the White Sox regarding Manny Ramirez, tweets Jon Heyman of SI.
- A source tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter) that he would be very surprised to see the Tigers trade Brandon Inge before Tuesday's deadline.
- Commissioner Bud Selig has no issue with the Pirates' financial statements which were made public earlier this week, writes Adam McCalvy of MLB.com.
- Dodgers players don't seem to be too concerned about the divorce of the McCourts in this article by Beth Harris of the Associated Press.