2010 Offseason: 3B

I had planned to start with starting pitching, but last week’s Inge resigning prompts that we start at 3B.

Inge benefited from a weak free agent class and DD’s inexplicable man-crush.  Two years, $11M, with a club option at $6M for the third.  $5.5M/yr isn’t all that bad, until you consider that:

– he’s a career OPS+ of 85 (this is waaaaaaaaaaaaay too low for an AL 3B).

– he’s had exactly one OPS+ season above 100, and that was in 2004 when the Tigers were managed by this guy.

– his career 3B fielding pct of .961 is suspect, and his 8.73 ZR over the last two years is marginal, at best.

At least’s it’s a pay cut (he made $6.6M this year).  Rosenberg wrote over the weekend that Inge is thrilled to stay in Det.  No kidding.  The Freep had a reader column on Saturday which pretty much summed up the sentiment we’ve seen here for years.

There’s really not a whole lot in the hopper in the minors, but I’m wondering if Raburn would have been a better option.  Kelly could not be much worse, and he would have been significantly cheaper.


  1. marty

    October 26, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Too bad Larish players for the Oakland A’s now

  2. Kevin in Dallas

    October 26, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Yeah, gonna make it even tougher to put him at third. He shoulda let me know. (note to Marty, I edited the post)

    • TSE

      October 26, 2010 at 3:33 pm

      That makes me mad. We gained nothing this season but embarrassment. Larish wasn’t looking so great but if we would have played him a lot more then at least a small percent chance to get lucky in finding him to be a keeper or trade bait would have given us more TODAY than we presently have. You either have foresight to know you are a credible threat for the playoffs and the WS or you take your gambles, and we failed on both ends. The worst possible outcome. Oh well, just another small piece of equity thrown away because of other high priced illogical investments that just compound our problem and delay our transition to greatness. I can’t imagine right now what our team will look like on opening day, I fear some crazy moves that will be more likely to set us back further than to take a giant leap ahead, I’m quite apprehensive.

      I think the Peralta case is a big one. If DD signs him before the winter meetings, then that’s a big sign that he hasn’t learned and he will stick with his old ways, but if he can stay away from him then that could be an encouraging sign that he’s going to try something different. Bottom line is we need to trade just about anybody we can, and get a total set of new players, as many as we can, even if it’s ONE good logical new player added, but we should be able to do better than that.

  3. stephen

    October 26, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    I enjoyed that fan column enormously.

    • Coleman

      October 27, 2010 at 12:31 pm

      I thought maybe that was one of your pseudonyms.

  4. TSE

    October 26, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Pretty neutral move. The cost is still a little stiff so it diminishes the big reward if he blows up and has a great year, because his projected odds of becoming a stud hitter this year aren’t high enough to make the present cost of the $5.5 into a GOOD gamble. But the amount is also not heavy enough such that it handcuffs us or puts us into high risk with too little reward. It’s almost a perfectly neutral signing such that if Inge sucks or becomes great I would give DD 0 + \ – pts either way since I think the price is just about right at present day. I would probably lean towards a small negative, considering I like Raburn better. Basically I would probably assign a breakeven point of around $5-.5.25M, so not big enough to harp on the decision as we will have many other things that are worth far more to complain about than a $500k max discrepancy. x2

  5. Ron

    October 26, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    Keep Raburn in the outfield where he is an adventure instead of a disaster(2nd and 3rd).
    Beltre would have been an overpayment in $$$ and years.
    All we can hope is for the next 2 years, Inge trys to go up the middle or to right more instead of trying to pull everything.
    and that Castellanos or Frankie Martinez advance enough the next 2 years for a 2012.

  6. kathy

    October 26, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Oh, by gosh, by golly! Binge makes more than 1 million dollars more a year that Polanco.
    Oh, and Brandon really likes Jhonny, and considereing the language barrier, it’s surprising how well they play together. That’s what he said!

  7. Vince in MN

    October 26, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    I guess I am OK with Inge at 3B IF they upgade at SS (i.e NOT Peralta). If they do sign Jhonny, having a left side infield which will be, at best, average defensively, but combines for a .245/.315/.700 batting line, doesn’t inspire much confidence.

    • KW

      October 26, 2010 at 8:09 pm

      On the bright side, if the other seven guys all hit .300, we’ll be just fine.

  8. stephen

    October 26, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    Inge at 2.5 m is acceptable at 5.5 m a total joke. I realize there wasn’t a lot of options, but at some point you don’t bring a mediocre guy back over and over and expect to be taken seriously by serious fans.

    • Rick G

      October 26, 2010 at 9:03 pm

      They didn’t sign Inge to please serious fans, they signed him to make all the housewives and grandmothers happy. Like it or not he’s the favorite player of a lot of fans, and it’s no surprise they’re keeping him around for much more than he’s worth.

      I wouldn’t mind seeing Inge move to SS and let Raburn and Kelly fight it out for 3B. At least that would save some money to spend on outfielders and pitching.

      • kathy

        October 26, 2010 at 9:34 pm

        Housewifes and grannies can be very serious fans. Let’s just say there are some fans who are more knowledgeable fans than others and leave it at that.

    • kathy

      October 26, 2010 at 9:36 pm

      I just wish Brandon would put his money where his mouth is.

  9. Nick

    October 26, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    If your defensive analysis involves fielding % and zone rating, you’re doing it wrong and you need to start over.

    • Nick

      October 26, 2010 at 10:20 pm

      Anyway, fangraphs rated his value for 2010 at about $8 mil. Pretty much the standard going rate for an average 3B eligible for free agency. Which is about right because Inge is pretty much an average 3B.

      • Kevin in Dallas

        October 26, 2010 at 11:30 pm

        What kills me about fangraphs is that it’s not the true market. Their “Dollars” figure is an algorithm based on another algorithm. (Not that I don’t love WAR). But come on, league avg WAR is 2. So 5% above that makes a guy worth $8.5M?

        I’ll be curious to see how many other league average third baseman go for $8M. Under that rationale, Tigers got a steal.

        UZR/150 was 3.5 for 2010, which places him just below average for 3B, and leads us to the same conclusion as above.

      • TSE

        October 27, 2010 at 12:24 am

        And 5.5 is below 8. We’re on the safe side by 2.5, not a tiny ratio exactly, that savings has value. And if we do conclude that Inge is a good defender in that he’s better than he’s worse, well that chunk of the equation is in our favor too. So if we can win a category of having a defensive plus, and a 5.5 in lieu of a bigger 8 plus, that’s 2 categories we win against the 3rd remaining category of offense. There’s only offense, defense, and money, and we look pretty solid to me to win on those last 2, not a bad position to be in within that kind of dynamic.

      • stephen

        October 27, 2010 at 11:26 pm

        In no world is a .237 hitting with an 85 OPS+ worth eight millions dollars. Time to get in the way back machine and recalculate!

        • Mark in Chicago

          October 28, 2010 at 11:39 pm

          look at it this way, stephen: now inge can set an all-time Tigers strikeout record that may never be broken!

    • KW

      October 27, 2010 at 10:44 am

      And without explaining what stats are best for defensive analysis, you just seem like an Inge-loving troll.

  10. Kevin in Dallas

    October 27, 2010 at 12:17 am

    Good article here which is on point for the Inge discussion, and talks about the Cubbies as the front runner for Dunn: http://www.mlive.com/tigers/in.....um=twitter

  11. Joe

    October 27, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Dunn has no position to play in Detroit. First base is already occupied by Miggy and Dunn is an absolute butcher playing outfield. Plus, Adam already already expressed he’s not interested in signing with a team to be the primary DH. So look for a couple major league teams flashing both money and a 1B glove at Adam this early winter.

    Besides, Carlos Guillen still owns a respectable bat and needs a place in the lineup. DH is is the perfect spot for Carlos in 2012.

    • Joe

      October 27, 2010 at 8:57 am

      last post edit…

      … perfect spot in 2011 — not 2012.

      • Vince in MN

        October 27, 2010 at 10:28 am

        I think it is a pretty safe bet that DL will be the perfect spot for Guillen in 2011.

        • kathy

          October 29, 2010 at 9:07 pm

          Perhaps Carlos will be on the DL at the start of the season until someone else gets injured and he rehabs back to Detroit for a short time until he hits the DL again. He can still hit!

  12. Angus

    October 27, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    I have watched Brandon in all of his Tigers seasons from 3rd base side. I think we should have moved on. DD and Ole Smoky need to wise up and spend money more wisely. It seems as if we overspend at a lot of places while other teams sign players with similar stats for less money. The old adage used to be about anyone from Toledo can hit .225 to .250 and be an average fielder. DD rewards them with good free agent money. I understand loyalty but a playoff contender would make me forget about Brandon being at 3rd in a heart beat. 3rd and 1st power positions. Only 1st base for 2 more seasons at Detroit.

    • TSE

      October 29, 2010 at 1:13 pm

      Expect a lot more unwise spending. DD is in the hot seat bigtime, so he could be spending a lot of money this year in a desperate attempt to try and save his job. Carl Crawford and Derek Jeter come to mind. They are both good baseball players, but both are candidates to get highly overpaid by the Tigers. Somebody is going to sign here for big money more than what they are worth this year, I just have a feeling. Whatever amount we could possibly lose on Inge’s $5.5 million is one thing for certain, and that is it can’t be that big of an amount and it will be a drop in the bucket compared to the amount we can lose on whatever big contract we hand out.

  13. kathy

    October 29, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    Carl Crawford is a five tool player. If you can afford him, get him, imho. Derek Jeter isn’t going anywhere except NY. The Angels are campaigning for Crawford, so it might be a hard sell. I’d love to have him in Detroit, and have expressed that many, many times. Ticket prices went up a notch, but there are still some cheap seats. The stadium will need to be filled. Go get the best!