just a nibble of Inge news

photo by Samara Pearlstein

I was watching the Red Wings pregame show, and John Keating had a little phone interview with Jim Leyland, because the Marlins trade is such a big deal that it’s even talked about in the hockey rinks. As it should be, of course.

Keating asked if a Brandon Inge trade seemed inevitable now (sniffle) and Leyland replied that he had actually just got off the phone with Inge a few minutes before taking the FSN call. I don’t have an exact transcript, but the general gist of Leyland’s response was that Inge definitely did NOT want to play catcher (which we already knew), and definitely wanted to play third. He didn’t mention anything about the outfield, or about a bench position.

He then said something along the lines of ‘if we can’t move him we’ll just try to make it work,’ which is not the most encouraging statement ever for a Brandon Inge fan to hear.

Inge also apparently told the team that he doesn’t want to be a backup. Swallow your pride, Brandon! Jeez. It’s not like you got usurped by some broken-legged old man with a big bat, Miguel Cabrera is a bloody infant superstar! No disrespect intended! WE LOVE YOU AND WANT YOU TO STAY, even if that means you take on a bench role! C’mon now!

I’m wondering what team would start him at third after the season he just had. If the team that gives him maybe the MOST leeway, i.e. the team that he’s currently on, only barely wants him at third, what other team would be willing to take that kind of hit to their lineup? Don’t even tell me, I know there are teams out there, but I am trying to live in my little world of denial. :(
I still hold out hope that, if nothing else, Inge’s contract (he’s due a smidge above $19 mil over the next 2 years) will make him fairly difficult to trade. I can’t imagine that the Tigers would be too ready and willing to pick up much of that contract just to move Inge, and I can’t imagine that any team would pay that kind of money for someone who might not be able to put his bat in the same county as the baseball.

Oh, offseason, why do you torment me so?

The other news is that the Big Red Detroit era is over, and Chris Shelton has been traded to the Rangers for Freddy Guzman. I’m not really sure what we would do with Freddy Guzman, except let him moulder in triple-A, but Shelton didn’t seem like he was going to make it back up either, so I guess that works out to a wash.

There was also a rumor going around that we’re going to trade Dontrelle Willis and possibly Pudge to the Mets for… well, for something good, I’m sure. It seems to be pretty dead now, as I haven’t heard anything about it for a couple days. Speaking of the Mets, though, the Michigan Wolverines are going to be playing against the Mets during Spring Training this year, which I am very excited to see. Hopefully it’ll be televised.


23 responses to “just a nibble of Inge news

  1. Swallow your pride indeed, Brandon. You hit, what, .230 last year? I don’t think you really have room to be making demands. If he’s smart, he’ll be eager to play whatever roll the Tigers will give him, and show that he’s a team player.
    And, um, if they trade Pudge, I’m going to go to Dombrowski’s office and throw him out the window.
    Mets v. Wolverines! That should be good. Can’t believe it’s only 80 or so days until Spring Training. Almost here! :D

  2. Wow, I can’t imagine them trading Pudge at all unless they had some solid catcher waiting in the wings and… yeah, not so much with that.
    I’m really hoping Inge sticks around. We need to have SOMEONE who remembers the Bad Old Days…

  3. How about this idea? Trade Inge to Marlins for Badenhop, DeLa Cruz and Trahem. Because of Marlin’s financial concerns, offer to pay half of Inge’s salary. Marlins need a 3B. In effect Detroit would be buying 3 of their former pitchers back. I’ll bet that at least 2 of the 3 turn out to be major league quality pitchers and we would also be able to trade them if needed for future deals. Pitching is hard to find and those 3 are good prospects.

  4. Yeah, ivan, PfP, I don’t really know what the deal with the Pudge rumors was. It just didn’t make sense. What, we’re gonna have Vance start at catcher? Or we’re gonna overpay for some other schlub? If we’re gonna overpay for a catcher we may as well overpay for the catcher we already know, who already knows our pitchers, etc.
    Jim, that’s an, uh, interesting idea, but I don’t think the Marlins would want to pay even half of $19 mil for a player like Inge. That would be an enormous chunk of their entire payroll. And I don’t think the Tigers want to pay half of his contract just to get him out of town either. If he goes, it’ll be to someone who needs a 3B badly enough to not mind the money.

  5. But I mean, they were pitching to Brandon like he was flippin Babe Ruth last year! It’s not his fault that he swung at balls in the dirt and over his head, just because the Babe hit those over the fence.
    I think I’d like to keep Brandon for nostalgic purposes, but that $19 mil is not so fun with the nostalgia.

  6. Offensively, Brandon Inge hit below his career average last year at .236. He insists on making long sweeping swings and he and Lloyd McClendon do not get along on how to improve. The bottom line: Brandon is too stubborn to accept advice, too expensive to move and too proud to accept a demotion. What to do? All I know is, If someone wanted to pay me 19 million dollars, I would do what it takes to fit in.

  7. Ha ha, tiff, right, dontcha know those big league pitchers, always throwing to the 9-hole guy like he’s Babe freakin’ Ruth. What’s a guy to do? I will admit that that was not one of Brandon’s finer moments… :P
    Larry, it’s not so bad as all that. I mean, OK, yes it is, but you have to factor in his defensive abilities, and the fact that the Tigers lineup right now is more fearsome than a tiger with robotic cyborg limbs. Is 19 mil a lot to pay for defense? Yeah, of course it is. Is it too much to pay for what is basically only defense? Yeah, probably. But it is as ridiculous as paying that amount for someone who makes NO contributions to the team? Naaaah. /hopeless Inge optimist

  8. I was surprised to hear about your boy Inge asking for a trade. I was expecting to hear about you and your fellow BIFC members making the trip downtown to Comerica Park for a mass protest to keep him

  9. It’s so comforting to know someone else feels the same as I do about Brandon. Everyone else just seems to think he’s convenient trade bait for bullpen relief. I know he’s everyone’s favorite whipping boy, but he’s my baby, you know? It’s awfully hard to be excited about a trade that replaces your favorite player.
    I don’t blame Brandon for wanting an everyday job (we know how much he hates to sit) but for selfish reasons I want him to stay no matter what.
    Note to other GMs: Please, please, please avoid a trade for Brandon like the plague! Last year was not just a down year. He’s on the decline! He’ll never have a decent season again!
    Besides, what am I supposed to do with my Inge jersey if he gets traded?

  10. Also, I don’t see any reason why Cabrera can’t play left. There’s no way he has the range Brandon has at third, and as far as I’m concerned Jacques Jones can very well come off the bench or be traded. Who cares anything about him?

  11. I find the experience of getting to know player personalities and tendencies to be the most entertaining part of being a fan. As nice as following a winning team can be, a successful team is nowhere near as important to me as an interesting one with which I have a history. With that in mind, I fear our transformation into the ’97 Marlins (or 2001 Diamondbacks) will make the Tigers a lot less fun to watch. As awesome as THE TRADE is, I have a feeling that I’ll miss Inge hacking away and having the occasional moment of heroism even while our current mercenary uber-lineup puts up ridiculous numbers.

  12. Inge = overpaid and overrated.

  13. Lauren, we could go protest at Comerica, but I don’t think he’s there right now, so it’d be a pretty ineffective protest. :P
    jaclyn, I do kind of blame Inge for insisting on an every day job. I get that no one likes to sit or to be a backup player, but honestly, he could be so useful as a bench guy. I don’t care where we play Cabrera so long as he’s in the lineup, but Inge could play left just as easily as he could, and many more places in the field besides…
    Dave, obviously I love Inge, but c’mon now, you have to admit that Dontrelle Willis is not a boring guy to watch!
    Darin, k.

  14. Actually, there has been something of a rumor that the Phillies would ship Wes Helms (and some $$$, of course), on the last year of his contract, to Florida, then the Phils would trade for Inge, but the Phils seem to be demanding that the Tigers pick up a (insert your own adjective here) portion of Inge’s salary. So far, the Tigers remain uninterested.
    I still say Inge should swallow his pride, go back to outfield duties (agree that if Vance Wilson is ready coming out of ST that Inge should have “emergency catcher only” status, but might make a nice option if Vance is a bit tardy in his recovery), and we’d have one hell of a potent lineup against lefties if Thames & Inge replace J. Jones & Granderson.

  15. But Sam, Inge is our guy! In his time with the Tigers I’ve gone from judging Inge as one of the worst players I’ve seen in my life (all the while talking him up ironically to anyone who will listen) to watching him become a defensive god and (apparently flukey) power threat. I love Willis and Cabrera too – the Marlins have long been my NL team – but… but… he’s our guy!

  16. The Brewers were looking for a third basemen for a time, talking to creaky old Scott Rolen, until they seemed to change their minds and go for bullpen help (Gagne, Riske, et al). I’m kind of surprised there hasn’t been any local talk about him, at least that I’m aware of. He’d hit well in Miller Park I think. I’m also surprised I know this much about the Brewers, to tell you the truth.

  17. Jeff, I still think the Tigers would prefer (rightly) to swallow a discontented Inge than to swallow some of his salary just to move him. I don’t think they should deviate from that stance. If they can find someone to pick up either all or the vast, vast majority of his contract… well, I’ll be sad, but good for them. Otherwise, stand pat.
    Dave, trust me, I’m not giving up on the guy! He may be a weird little freak, but he’s OUR weird little freak… I was just saying that the acquisition of Cabrera and Dontrelle doesn’t make the Tigers any less fun to watch, and may indeed directly contribute to the fun factor (imagine the handshake routines Dontrelle can work up…).
    Paavo, thing is, the Tigers need bullpen help. A team that’s trying to build up its own bullpen because its relievers are so cruddy isn’t going to be high on the list of teams the Tigers want to deal with right now, y’know? They might still find a way, but they’d have to get creative with their offers.

  18. Well that’s very good point of course. See, that’s why I’m just a dilettante at this commenting business, and why you are the queen, rather The Queen, of all things Tiger.

  19. Well, the Tigers might get into what is referred to sometimes as “buying prospects”… As in something like the following: “We’ll trade you Inge for a low-end prospect if you’ll take on all of his salary. We’d be open to paying some of Inge’s salary, but the more we pay, the better the prospect(s) we’ll demand.” I still think there’s a potential match with Philly due to the Phils’ young catching corps (Ruiz and Jaramillo). If it’s a 3-way situation with the Marlins, maybe we could even get the Phils to get a Fish prospect back in their trade of Helms, then we’d get him for Inge and $$$.
    Still, yeah, I’d like to see Brandon stay on and all, absolutely, but I’m just addressing the reality, is all.

  20. Paavo, thanks, but I’m not exactly an expert here. I just like to write, I know how to use Photoshop, and MVN gave me a home. ;)
    Jeff, Jaramillo is verrrrrrry intriguing. I think a catching prospect that young would command more than Brandon Inge in this year’s catching market, but if DD could pull it off I would be somewhat (only somewhat!) appeased.

  21. Remember when Inge had that widely ridiculed bit of brattiness upon losing his starting catching job to Pudge? At the time, he made the crazy claim that he was as good a defensive catcher as zillion-gold-glover-winner Rodriguez, but when you look at their defensive numbers that year… he was actually right! Someday, history may well vindicate all of Inge’s tantrums. Except for that Babe Ruth comment. I really hope that one was intended as irony.

  22. //Someday, history may well vindicate all of Inge

  23. […] Baseball – Keating asked if a Brandon Inge trade seemed inevitable now (sniffle) and Leyland replied that he had actually just got off the phone with Inge a few minutes before taking the FSN call. I don

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