October 21st, 2010 at 10:54 AM ^

Inge is a stop gap until Castellanos or Gaynor fullfil their potential and take over - hopefully.  I didn't see very many options on the FA market, so it seems logical to resign one of the most liked Tigers.  We know what we get in Inge: decent defense, and a guy who sees himself as a power hitter but isn't. 

Number 7

October 21st, 2010 at 11:05 AM ^

I'd rather have Beltre than Inge (but I guess he's not "walking through that door"), but I'd rather have A-Jax than Grandy.  Granderson two biggest problems were that he was an automatic out against lefties (especially in the late innings, when he was facing a LOOGY-type guy or better), and that he routinely got poor jumps/reads on deep flies.  A-Jax has less power and stirkesout more, but is a more consistent threat to get on base and fields to position better.  Plus we got Scherzer out of the deal. 


October 21st, 2010 at 11:22 AM ^

last 5 years prior to this one and most his career. He's a good fielder, but not worth the big $$ he has been making-especially in the Seattle days.

It definitely seems like he only plays well when a big money contract is on the line. See 2004 and 2010 (his only two standout years.)


Batting Stats
1998 LA 77 195 18 42 7 22 14 37 3 1 .278 .369 .215
1999 LA 152 538 84 148 15 67 61 105 18 7 .352 .428 .275
2000 LA 138 510 71 148 20 85 56 80 12 5 .360 .475 .290
2001 LA 126 475 59 126 13 60 28 82 13 4 .310 .411 .265
2002 LA 159 587 70 151 21 75 37 96 7 5 .303 .426 .257
2003 LA 158 559 50 134 23 80 37 103 2 2 .290 .424 .240
2004 LA 156 598 104 200 48 121 53 87 7 2 .388 .629 .334
2005 SEA 156 603 69 154 19 87 38 108 3 1 .303 .413 .255
2006 SEA 156 620 88 166 25 89 47 118 11 5 .328 .465 .268
2007 SEA 149 595 87 164 26 99 38 104 14 2 .319 .482 .276
2008 SEA 143 556 74 148 25 77 50 90 8 2 .327 .457 .266
2009 SEA 111 449 54 119 8 44 19 74 13 2 .304 .379 .265
2010  BOS 154 589 84 189 28 102 40 82 2 1 .365 .553 .321
Total   1835 6874 912 1889 278 1008 518 1166 113 39 .328 .462 .275


October 21st, 2010 at 12:38 PM ^


Year-By-Year Salary
Contract Year Salary Contract Year Salary
2000 $500,000 2001 $750,000
2002 $2,300,000 2003 $3,700,000
2004 $5,000,000 2005 $11,400,000
2006 $12,900,000 2007 $12,900,000
2008 $13,400,000 2009 $13,400,000
2010 $9,000,000

After last year's 1 year deal for $9mil, he is trying to pull the same 2004/05 big time contract jack move that he pulled on Seattle all over again.


October 21st, 2010 at 5:10 PM ^

Beltre, I feel, proves that the "myth" of a contract year player isn't a myth at all.

His two biggest years are the seasons he had a large free agency contract coming up in the off season-  2004 and 2010. I bet you can also guess which seasons were his ONLY season's that he hit over .300 in?

Look at the stats I posted above and then the corresponding $$ and it becomes pretty apparent that he is most definitely a contract year guy


October 21st, 2010 at 6:29 PM ^

I think the reason that he hit so poorly between 2005 and 2009 was because of park factors. Look up Seattle's, they are a great pitchers park. I don't think Beltre is a 141 OPS+ guy like he was this year, but he can be 110 OPS+ with fantastic defense going forward. Also, you are confusing causation with correlation, in regards to contract years.


October 23rd, 2010 at 6:22 AM ^

The story seems to demonstrate that it is not a widespread, or even common, phenomenon.  However, it doesn't rule out any individual case from being an example of it being true. 

And while I agree that ballparks can have a significant effect, it doesn't rule out other factors.  For example, how do you explain his 2004 season?


October 22nd, 2010 at 12:10 PM ^


Inge's UZR/150 by year:


2005: 3.8

2006: 15.2

2007: 10.0

2008: 6.2

2009: 6.9

2010: 3.5


Beltre's UZR/150


2003: 19.4

2004: 25.7

2005: 8.8

2006: 19.7

2007: -2.7

2008: 13.4

2009: 21.2

2010: 12.7



Inge is clearly on a downward trajectory (injuries? age?). He's my favorite Tiger but he's not nearly as good as Beltre


October 23rd, 2010 at 6:56 AM ^

Ah, I love fangraphs, but I've found their fielding statistics to be less reliable than their hitting and pitching numbers.  For example, Fangraphs has Inge behind Jose Lopez in fielding which is, quite frankly, laughable.  Fielding is more of an inexact science than hitting or pitching and can't be quantified as easily.  I haven't examined all of the deficiencies in the fielding numbers, but one example is the points players get for turning double plays, which are largely a function of the pitching staff and the number of ground balls they induce.  The large fluctuation in each of the numbers from year to year is also suspect. 

Having watched a lot of games from both teams, Inge has slightly better range than Beltre.  He gets to balls Beltre doesn't get to.  And yet, at least this year, he still maintains a higher fielding % than Beltre.  He also has more accurate throws when off-balance.  They are two of the best in the AL though.  Longoria is probably in the mix too.


October 22nd, 2010 at 12:24 PM ^

Crowdsourcing put Beltre's expected contract at 4 years/$52 million dollars, or $13 million per year. Inge is making $5.5 million per year for two years. After those two years, however, the Tigers will need to replace him at 3B so we can reasonable assume they will pay another $5.5 million per year for those two years. Given that the cost per win (WAR) is roughly $5 million. The question to ask is whether Adrien Beltre is worth 1.5 more wins than Brandon Inge over the next four years. Let's look at their last four years:


2007: Beltre 2.7, Inge 2.5

2008: Beltre 3.5, Inge 1.1

2009: Beltre 1.1, Inge 1.4

2010: Beltre 6.1, Inge 1.5


That's +5.8 over a four year span. We had previously said that Beltre would need to be +6 for the contract to make sense. Further reasons why I would sign Beltre over Inge, even accounting for price difference:


1. Durability

2. Strikeouts - Inge has "old player skills" and those guys don't usually last too long

3. The marginal value of each win increases for teams that are playoff contenders. The player that sends a team from its 89th win to its 90th is more valuable than a player who sends a team from its 72nd win to its 73rd, As far as I can tell, the Tigers intend to compete for division titles in these next four years, so they should take the risk of paying for a better player.


October 23rd, 2010 at 7:10 AM ^

I agree with the overall sentiment, and I certainly wouldn't be opposed to having Beltre instead of Inge.  Afterall, there's no salary cap and it's not my money.  That said, I'm fine with keeping Inge and spending elsewhere too.  We'll probably have to wait and see what else the Tigers do by next season before we have a good assessment though.

Btw, how are you defining "old player skills"?

Lastly, I'm not sure Beltre really has much of an advantage, if one at all, in durability.  I know Inge has played a lot of games while injured, but he is playing them.  Games missed due to injury per year:



2005 - 0

2006 - 0

2007 - 5

2008 - 15

2009 - 1

2010  - 15



2005 - 6

2006 - 5

2007 - 10

2008 - 5

2009 - 49

2010 - 2


October 26th, 2010 at 3:53 PM ^

I define Old Player Skills as guys with low batting averages and high strikeouts. Currently, Inge walks enough, hits enough HR and plays good enough defense to be valuable despite his flaws. However, his flaws are so heavy that even a slight drop in  BA will effectively kill his value. Inge is putting up .315 OBP's despite hitting only .230 or so. If he hits .200, his value is effectively gone. Contrast that to Beltre, if he drops 30 points in batting average, he is still a .245/.300/.440 hitter with great defense.


October 21st, 2010 at 11:31 AM ^

A-Jax was much better than Granderson last year, makes far less money, and is a lot younger.  Granderson is a good player who is probably is what he is at this point.  Jackson was a ROOKIE and outplayed him.  Austin Jackson will likely win AL Rookie of the year, and has a chance to be a perennial All-Star.  I'll take A-Jax, thank you.


October 21st, 2010 at 4:09 PM ^

i was really worried about the defense when grandy was traded.  grandy had to play CF and parts of LF and RF when he was here, due to the defensive liabilities on either side of him.  he went back on a ball as good as anyone i have ever seen.  but had trouble with the little loopers (remember the 2006 WS fiasco).

however, jackson is purely awesome in CF.  he's worthy of a gold glove this year but probably won't get it as a rookie.  he's the best young defensive OF i've seen since andruw jones.  i would have been happy with a .250 BA from him, but he was better.  very happy having him wear the english D for a long time.

kind of a big deal

October 21st, 2010 at 11:00 AM ^

I'd like Inge as a utility player, but as an everyday 3rd basemen he's just another hole in the Tigers lineup.

I didn't see the $$ values in the article, but if it's at a discount from his previous contract it could be a decent signing.  He was overpaid for the production he had for his previous deal - just my opinion.


October 21st, 2010 at 11:18 AM ^

Get out of my head!  But, this is what I was thinking.  I love this guy on the roster as a utility player, injury insurance, etc.  I don't like him has my everyday 3rd baseman, but would accept him as such for a discount. 

My assumption is they overpaid for him as a reward for sticking around.  This is what the Tigers do.


October 21st, 2010 at 11:00 AM ^

I was going to write that I could really care less about Inge and started to do so before I realized that there is no reason to be "that guy."  Since I subscribe to the "if you don't like it, don't read it or respond" thinking, I decided that it was better to not respond negatively.  I probably shouldn't have wasted my time responding at all but I'm already this far into it so I might as well post it, right?


October 21st, 2010 at 11:09 AM ^

Hmm... So you still have proclaimed that you could care less by saying that you aren't going to post about how you could care less b/c although it's true you don't want to be THAT guy.

I don't want to be THAT guy who tells you that you are in fact being that guy. So i'll just refrain from telling you that. K cool, good talk.


October 22nd, 2010 at 1:32 PM ^

Nitpicky grammar Nazi-ism, but it should be "couldn't care less."  "Could care less" insinuates that you have some amount of care factor towards Brandon Inge and that you are specifically mentioning that there are things that you, in fact, care less about. 


October 21st, 2010 at 11:17 AM ^

Excellent.  Inge has his flaws but he's got a good enough bat to go along with his excellent defense.  Two years with a club option is the perfect length.  Plus, Inge's rootability is through the roof.  To use a phrase that the Tigers' marketing department let go of way too soon, Inge is my Tiger.


October 23rd, 2010 at 8:55 PM ^

He might save a run or two here ad there.  But he's an instant rally killer.  He even admitted that he could hit for a higher average by slapping the ball over the field, but prefers to drive the ball.  He's played long enough to know that he's hurting the team with that philosophy.  When you got a man in scoring position, just slap the stupid ball through the infield and get the run in. 

If you want to root for a guy who's awful at a traditional power position, go ahead.  But give me an average defensive 3rd baseman that provides protection or Cabrera.  I don't hate him, but he should not be a starting third baseman for a non expansion team.

Wolverine In Exile

October 21st, 2010 at 11:22 AM ^

who hits in the 8-9 spot in the lineup I don't have an issue with. Above average defensively, runs the bases well, occasional pop in his bat. It's when he's a top 2/3 of the lineup hitter that there's a problem. I assume we got him on a discount?

Wolverine In Exile

October 21st, 2010 at 11:22 AM ^

who hits in the 8-9 spot in the lineup I don't have an issue with. Above average defensively, runs the bases well, occasional pop in his bat. It's when he's a top 2/3 of the lineup hitter that there's a problem. I assume we got him on a discount?


October 23rd, 2010 at 9:02 PM ^

If the FA market sucks, then save the 5 mil a year and let Sizemore move over to 3rd.  He costs less money, can't hit worse than Inge and will give you an average glove.  We save money that could go to another need.

Anyone who think the hate is silliness needs to look at what he provides in the current lineup.  He's a huge liability in the 6-7 hole, meaning no protection at all for Cabrera.  He refuses to just hit for a higher average and just be a contact hitter.  He swings for the fence in that little body of his. 

He's just not built to be an every day 3rd baseman.  Not everyone is.  Tom Brookens has played more games at 3rd than Inge, but he was never the full time 3rd baseman.  What's more bizarre than the Inge hate is the Leyland love for Inge.  We can platoon at all these other positions, but apparently Inge is untouchable.

His Dudeness

October 21st, 2010 at 11:31 AM ^

I guess I can understand that he is a fan favorite, but that does not mean we should be wasting money on a big league corner infielder who can't hit. That position is pivotal to produce offensively. People let emotions play into who they deem productive in baseball far too often. Do you think the Yankees would still  have Jeter out there if emotions played no role? Gimme a break. We would be a much better team if we shipped Inge out with the next shipment of rubber dogshit, IME.