Last night, the Tigers announced that long time Tiger Brandon Inge would be designated for assignment to make room for newly acquired third baseman Wilson Betemit. The move to designate Inge for assignment, which technically just buys the Tigers 10 days to make a decision on him, was contingent on him accepting a demotion to Toledo. Inge accepted his fate and said he would be back in September no matter what. If he refused, which was well within his right, he probably would've been released outright, leaving him free to go wherever while still getting paid his guaranteed contract by the Tigers.
Once a player is re-assigned to the minor leagues, he must first clear waivers, though. The thought was that Inge would have no problem clearing waivers because of his hefty price tag, but there appears to be some interest from the Florida Marlins [via MLB.com's Joe Frisaro]:
The Marlins have made it clear that they are seeking veteran experience at third base.
A player the club is looking at is Brandon Inge of the Tigers. Now that Detroit has acquired Wilson Betemit, Inge has become expendable. While Inge is having a down year, hitting .177 with one homer and 17 RBIs, he has been with the Tigers since 2001. He has started 63 games at third base for the Tigers this year, and appeared in 69 games total at the position.
There's likely not much to this, and Frisaro didn't elaborate, but this could mean one of a few things: 1) The Tigers could work out a trade with the Marlins (reliever Leo Nunez is mentioned in the article as being available), but Inge would have to sign off on any trade. This would be a rather cutthroat move by the Tigers, especially since Ilitch supposedly sent a message to Inge, requesting that he decide to stay in the organization. I imagine, if this were the case, Inge would wind up agreeing in spite of his own interest to stay in Detroit. 2) The Tigers could remove Inge from waivers, but then they'd have to put him back on the MLB roster. That'd be counterintuitive and won't happen. 3) Of course, if the Marlins really want Inge, they can simply claim him off of waivers and assume the rest of his contract without giving the Tigers anything in return. The Tigers would be stupid to stop the Marlins from doing that, but the odds of Marlins' owner Jeffrey Loria allowing his Baseball Ops to execute such a move, without firing everyone immediately after, are probably pretty low.