Results tagged ‘ Brandon Inge ’
The Tigers took care of their first piece of offseason business Thursday by signing third baseman Brandon Inge to a two-year contract with a club option with 2013, keeping the longest-tenured current Tiger in the Old English D. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The signing completes negotiations that began before the season even ended, a relative rarity for the Tigers. But with the potential additions the Tigers stand to make this winter, they wanted to quickly move on keeping their defensive stalwart at the hot corner before he could hit the open market.
The 33-year-old was eligible for free agency this winter, having just finished a four-year, $24 million contract he signed after the Tigers’ trip to the World Series in 2006. The Tigers have been through plenty of change since, including a brief positional move for Inge a couple years ago, but his defense at third has become one of the constants.
Inge batted .247 this year with 28 doubles, 13 home runs and 70 RBIs in 144 games, having missed two weeks to a fractured hand, but his strength has been his range at third. He ranked third among AL third basemen in range factor and total chances, though his zone rating ranked more towards the middle of the pack.
The total package was something the Tigers wanted to continue, especially given their desire to retain Jhonny Peralta at shortstop for next year and look for offensive moves at other spots.
“I think with Brandon, you have to know what you have in a player,” team president/general manager Dombrowski said at season’s end. “First of all, he’s an outstanding defensive third baseman. We all know he’s a gamer. He gives you everything he can. He represents what you want on the field. He never leaves an ounce of anything behind that’s out there.
“He gives you some offense. I don’t think you write down Brandon Inge as coming out and hitting 25 home runs and knocking in 100 runs all of a sudden. I think you have to look at the numbers he’s put up and figure that’s probably the type of hitter you have. If he gives you more, that’s great.”
Inge has long expressed his desire to stay in Detroit, but he also wanted multi-year security. He was seeking a three-year deal at one point and had a two-year offer from the Tigers at season’s end, but the third-year option proved to bridge the gap.
“This is where I want to play, as long as they’ll let me,” Inge said at season’s end. “A multi-year [deal], I feel like they’re showing me a little respect. And it’s another thing where everyone’s comfortable with everyone, meaning myself and the organization.
“They know what they’re going to get. I’m going to go out there and play as hard as I can, rain or shine, whether I’m injured or not. And I think it maybe eases their mind a little bit.”
Inge has been in the Tigers organization his entire career, from draft day until now. He made his Major League debut in 2001, and is one of just two players left in town who were around from Detroit’s 119-loss season in 2003 to its World Series trip three years ago. Ramon Santiago is the other, but he was traded out of the organization and came back.
Inge made Michigan his full-time home this year, making him the only Tiger who lives in the area year-round. It appears he’ll be able to commute to work for at least the next couple years.
Just finished a long, long conversation with Dave Dombrowski, and he pretty much mapped out the Tigers’ offseason plans and priorities. The biggest point of it: The Tigers will indeed be looking for a middle-of-the-order bat, either in the outfield or at DH, but they want to keep Brandon Inge and Jhonny Peralta at 3B and SS, respectively.
- Alex Avila is going to get the majority of the starts at catcher next year. As Dombrowski said, “We’re going to give Alex Avila the primary responsibility at catcher.”
- Dombrowski stopped short of saying Ryan Raburn is an everyday outfielder, but he came awfully close. “I think we feel he can be a primary guy,” Dombrowski said. “I wouldn’t say he’s an everyday guy, but he’s going to play a lot.”
- Confirming what Dombrowski told WDFN next month, they’ll go into next season with Will Rhymes and Scott Sizemore competing for time at second base. Dombrowski also said Danny Worth could see time there, as could Carlos Guillen when he’s healthy.
- Dombrowski on Rhymes: “We like what we see. We think he has a chance to be a spark for us.”
- Dombrowski seconded what Leyland said earlier about the bullpen as a priority. “Ideally, we’d like to have one more guy in the back end,” said Dombrowski, who used Brandon Lyon as an example of the kind of signing they’d like to make there.
- The Tigers will not be pursuing Cliff Lee, or anyone at the very top end of the free-agent starting market. However, Dombrowski cautioned that they won’t necessarily be looking for a stereotypical fifth starter.
- The Tigers are open to having a full-time DH, if that’s what it takes to add a bat in the middle of the order. In other words, they can find room for Adam Dunn.
- Brennan Boesch and Casper Wells will compete for outfield spots next year.
Brandon Inge has been in the Tigers system since Detroit drafted him in 1998. Ramon Santiago signed that summer and made his way to the states the next year. The only player still in the system who predates them is Max St. Pierre, who was a teammate of Santiago in the Tigers farm system and went to Spring Training alongside Inge just about every year.
The left-side infield experiment begins tonight now that Brandon Inge is back in the starting lineup. He returns to third base, shifting Jhonny Peralta over to shortstop. They’ll bat seventh and sixth, respectively, right behind the shorter-haired Brennan Boesch.
- Jackson, CF
- Rhymes, 2B
- Damon, DH
- Cabrera, 1B
- Boesch, RF
- Peralta, SS
- Inge, 3B
- Avila, C
- Kelly, LF
- Juan Pierre, LF
- Omar Vizquel, 3B
- Alex Rios, CF
- Paul Konerko, 1B
- Carlos Quentin, RF
- Mark Kotsay, DH
- Alexei Ramirez ,SS
- A.J. Pierzynski, C
- Gordon Beckham, 2B
UPDATE: The Tigers announced just before the day game that Inge is heading out on a rehab assignment to Class A West Michigan, starting tonight. Sounds like he could be back before next week.
While the Tigers were on the road, Brandon Inge was apparently working ahead of schedule on rehabbing his broken hand. He took batting practice on Monday on his own and again Tuesday morning with the team, and he now says he would like to be back next week. He’d be shocked, he said, if he isn’t back by the time the Tigers go to Chicago for the start of their next road trip in a week and a half.