The Detroit Free Press indicates that a four-year extension for third baseman Brandon Inge is near. It could be worth $24MM.
Inge turns 30 next May. In 2006, he posted a career high .463 SLG in 542 ABs. However, his OBP dipped to .313. By comparison, the average AL 3B hit .269/.338/.442 this year. The main problem was that Inge’s walk percentage dropped from 10% in 2005 to 7% this year. However, Inge’s fine glovework at the hot corner probably elevates him to the status of above average overall.
ESPN reports that southpaw reliever Steve Kline will stay with the Giants on a two-year, $3.5MM deal. Kline, who is 34, has poor control and a weak strikeout rate. He does keep the ball on the ground generally and is a little better against lefties.
The Rangers signed 29 year-old outfielder Marlon Byrd to a one-year contract. Byrd typically struggles to post a .700 OPS, so he’s probably seen as a fourth outfielder. He can play all three outfield positions.
Finally, the Royals signed southpaw John Bale, who turns 33 next May, to a two-year, $4MM deal. Bale spent the last two seasons in Japan. In 2006, Bale posted a 2.93 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 9.6 K/9 in 43 innings. Interesting side note: Bale was traded by the Orioles to the Mets in 2002 for $50MM man Gary Matthews Jr.