Sunday, January 06, 2008

Brandon Inge

There's been some Brandon Inge rumblings around the blog lately. Inge has been starting at the hot corner for the Tigers the last few years but with the acquisition of Miggy Cabrera, he is beyond expendable. Combine that with the sad situation at third for the Phillies, and Inge seems like a natural fit. But is he? Let's take a closer look at what Inge would give the Phillies.

Offense: Inge is not a good hitter. He hit .287 in '04 and knocked 27 out of the park in '06, but otherwise his offensive statistics are nothing to be excited about. After the .287 in '04, his average has decreased every year, with a very poor .236 average last year. And the three years before the .287, he hit .202, .203, and .180. That puts his career average at .240, far below acceptable for an everyday thirdbaseman, especially considering he is unlikely to hit more than a dozen or so dingers.

Defense: Given Inge's pitiful offensive skills, he better be a damn good defender. And he is. He has a strong arm and a wide range at third. He led the majors in Range Factor in '06 and was ninth in '07. He gets to more balls than George Michael, and so he's had more assists from third base than any other player in the majors over the last three years. Of course, no AL third baseman has made as many errors as Inge, either. But he has a decent fielding percentage and the two (assists, errors) kind of go hand in hand.

Cost: Inge is scheduled to make $6.2 million next year, $6.3 million in '09, and then $6.6 million in '10. That's a total of $19.1 million.

Acquisition Cost: Should be essentially nothing. A lot would depend on how much money the Tigers contribute to his salary. He is practically useless to Detroit, so I would think they would give him away (journeyman minorleaguer, future considerations, etc.) if the accepting team would pay half to two thirds of his salary.

WSBGM's Take: Brandon Inge is Abraham Nunez plus a dozen homeruns and a handful of doubles plus an emergency catcher minus the ability to slot in at second or short. By my math, that doesn't come close to adding up to $19 million dollars. Carson said in yesterday's comment section that he would "take Inge if the Tigers gave us salary relief of 2-3 mil per season." That would mean paying Inge $4 million in '10. I'm not down with that. The Phils are paying $3 million this year for the Helms/Dobbs platoon and adding at least another $3 million per year for a marginal upgrade that ensures three more years of substandard third base play doesn't make much sense.

The Tigers need to get rid of Inge, his high socks, and his salary, and in the next few months they will try to convince some poor club to take him. I just hope it isn't the Phils. Luckily, it seems the Phils have little interest in Inge.



BloodStripes said...

Imagine the benders this bloke must go on. He's a big B.Inge drinker you know.

GM-Carson said...

Nice "binge" reference.

If the Phils could manage to get rid of Helms without eating contract and get Inge for only 3-4 mil per season...I am down with that. I feel defense is very important at 3rd base (everywhere on the diamond for that matter) and Inge has solid D. His bat is bad, but I feel he could post a .750 OPS in the NL at the Cit.

SirAlden said...

Great analysis Corey.

If the Yankees took on Helms contract and sent back a back of the Bullpen Arm, and Detroit took on half of what is owed to Inge, I would be happy with it for these reasons.

One an arm for Helms.

Two Dobbs would be the top RBI Lefty off the bench, with spot starts.

Three Bruntlett who has good speed and resonable OB would be better off the bench.

Four Inge really really can run, and has great baserunning skills, is quite loved for them in Detroit.

Five Inge is a Rowand type, face of the franchise dirt ball, and I believe will match or exceed last years, RBI and Run total from 3B.

Six he can play every single position including Pitcher he has a 95 MPH Heater, so if an Utley type injury happened he could fill in.

Seven he fields great, and will order Cheeze With.

GM-Carson said...

SirAlden- are you suggesting Inge for setup man with that 95 mph heater? Shawon Dunston used to be able to crank it up 100+ mph from SS with the Cubbies.

Corey said...

if the phils get rid of helms' salary and the tigers pick up a nice portion, then maybe...but neither of those things will happen. and i still don't think anyone would want inge here three years from now, at any price.

also, inge could "match or exceed last years, RBI and Run total from 3B" and still completely suck.

GM-Carson said...

I could see Detroit eating a lot of Inge's salary, but getting rid of Helms is next to impossible without the Phils inturn eating some of his salary...getting anything useful back in return is wishful thinking.

GM-Carson said...

Through 2004-2006, Brandon Inge's average OPS was a suitable .773. I'd take that accompanied with his solid D.

BenJah said...

inge is a good player. he can play every position (better than bruntlett) and most likely would not take much to aquire. in fact, if the phils only took 1mil per year in salary relief, we could probably get him for nothing.

inge is not a great hitter, but would likely look better at the cit than comerica (which is huge). of course, this is where i should insert his home/road splits but they actually dont support my claim. damnit!!

given the total package (relax, george m!) he's vastly superior to helms, except in salary. pick him up and we have what is arguably one of the top three infields in the majors and an incredibly deep bench.

GM-Carson said...

I agree with Corey that if the Phils did land Inge we could easily end up regretting it, especially if he performed like he did in '07. However, I'm so desperate for an everyday 3rd baseman that can field and somewhat handle the bat that I'm willing to take a chance on Inge.

SirAlden said...

Mop up guy. lol

SirAlden said...

Helms to the Yankees.

GM-Carson said...

Alden- the Yanks don't want nor need Helms. And who do you propose the send us in return? Not Kyle Farnsworth, he's staying put.

SirAlden said...

It was old old rumors of a month ago, Giraldi loves Helms.

Bob D said...

Wes Helms for B.Inge drinker so Burrell has a friend at the bar.

GM-Carson said...

Burrell is a changed man, engagement has lead him to settling down in all aspects of his life...b.s.!

GM-Carson said...

Not that we blog much about the Pirates to begin with, but they haven't been doing much of anything this offseason- which is sad. Pitt did just ink pitchers Elmer Dessens and Adam Bernero to minor league contracts though. Bernero now has hope of becoming a pretigious Phucco!

Bob D said...

Bernero isn't he the guy who was the Phils ace 2 years ago?

SirAlden said...

"The Phillies' winter tour is falling into place. Kyle Kendrick and Chris Coste will be at a banquet in Williamsport on Jan. 17. Jenkins, Brett Myers and Charlie Manuel will be in Allentown on Jan. 23. Shane Victorino, J.C. Romero and Brad Lidge will be at a banquet in Reading on Jan. 24."

Very interesting information about Chris Coste being on the Winter Tour. Jaramillo is going to the Professional Workshop which led me to believe that He was going North with the club.

Maybe, just maybe both are going north and Coste is taking Helms roster spot.

Good News for Coste Fans at least.

GM-Carson said...

As of right now Coste is the backup catcher. Coste hasn't played an inning at 3rd during his MLB time, so to think he'd take Helms' roster spot is a bit silly.

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