Maybe the worst kept secret of the Detroit Tigers’ offseason plans was their intention to re-sign third baseman Brandon Inge.
As soon as the season ended, general manager Dave Dombrowski let it be known that the team put an offer to Inge on the table. (According to Jason Beck, negotiations began before the season ended.) And Inge, in turn, wanted to stay in the place he’s spent his entire 10-year major league career.
Now, it’s official. The Tigers announced on Thursday that they’ve signed Inge to a two-year contract with a club option for 2013. Financial terms of the deal still haven’t been made available, but we’ll post an update when that information is released.
(Inge was paid $6 million per season on his last contract. The guess is that figure will be less in this new deal.)
** UPDATE: Inge will get $11.5 million per Jason Beck, so marginally less.
For the Tigers, they’re bringing back a known commodity. Take issue with Inge’s batting average (and his prodigious strikeout numbers), but he is a 15-20 home run bat each season. And even if his skills are declining somewhat due to age and injury, Inge’s defense at third base is still among the best in the majors.
Could the Tigers have upgraded at the position? The free agent pickings at third base were thin. And some, such as FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi, believe that Adrian Beltre would not have been interested in hitting at Comerica Park. Even Inge himself said that the Tigers probably didn’t have a better option.
Add Inge’s involvement in the community, whether it’s his charitable contributions to the University of Michigan’s Mott Children’s Hospital or his desire to keep his family in Michigan until his kids finish school, and you have a player who is the face of the Tigers for many fans.
Check out Bless You Boys for more thoughts on the Inge signing and how Tigers fans feel about the move.