Follow-up from Inge signing
Not a whole lot of indifference towards Brandon Inge’s 2-year, $11.5 million (not $11 million, since he’ll get at least the $500,000 buyout for 2013 even if the Tigers don’t pick up his option) contract. Fans either like it, really like it or really hate it, much like everything else with Inge over the last three or four years.
I’m probably not going to change any minds, but I’ll just offer up some points …
- Re-signing Inge isn’t the centerpiece of the offseason. It’s a first piece. You don’t re-sign Inge to bat fifth behind Cabrera; you sign him to bat lower in the order and maintain a high level of defense at third base.
- By having keeping Inge’s range and arm at third base, the Tigers have the flexibility to get away with Jhonny Peralta at shortstop. They’re separate negotiations, and nothing is close with Peralta right now, but it would’ve been tough to look at Peralta as a shortstop without Inge to his right. I’m not sure it’s an automatic right now that Peralta gets re-signed, or that his option is picked up, but that’s the Tigers’ preference.
- For all the speculation about the Tigers making a run at Adrian Beltre, it wasn’t going to happen. He didn’t give Detroit the time of day when he was a free agent after the 2004 season (he supposedly wanted to play on the West Coast), and he wasn’t expected to this time, either.
- There was a decent chance of Inge getting more money, at least a little more, had he hit the open market. There are enough managers and front-office people who value his defense that some team would’ve stepped forward. Inge accepts the idea that he probably left some money out there, but the comfort level of sticking around and the peace of mind this offseason meant more.
- One side benefit of re-signing Inge is the continuity in the Tigers clubhouse, where Inge has emerged as a team leader over the last year or two. He isn’t an in-your-face guy, but he gets a lot of respect.