Thursday, October 21, 2010

Re-signing Inge a good thing? Depends what they are paying him

It wasn't unexpected the Tigers re-signed third baseman Brandon Inge. He got two years with an option. Sounds about right. But what is the big secret about how much he is going to be paid?
Did the Tigers overpay to keep him? Or did Inge take a hometown discount?
I think Inge is an average regular player. He is solid defensively, although not the clone of Brooks Robinson or Mike Schmidt some of his overzealous supporters believe him to be. He has power offensively and does well as a hitter in stretches. although his slumps and low batting average are drawbacks.
It's also good to have a player who has been with the organization for more than a decade like Inge. The old English "D" on his shirt means something to him.
But what are they paying him? Whether it's a good signing or not depends in large degree on that.



Anonymous Michael C said...

I had the exact same reaction. 3 mil a year and it's a good signing. 6 mil a year and it's a mistake.

12:34 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...


ESPN is reporting that Inge is getting $11 million over 2 years with a team option for a 3rd for $6 million, including a buyout of the 3rd year for $500,000. The dollar amount is too much, in my opinion. I would have offered him 2 years at $8 million, and I possibly would have gone as high as 9, but really? An average of $5.5 million per season seems awful high for an average hitter who's more of a defensive specialist.

I am, however, willing to see what other kinds of moves the Tigers make. I'll try to hold off from judging this move in a vacuum, but it's difficult because my gut reaction is that the dollar amount is too high.


3:14 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Saw that. Interesting. I doubt Inge would have gotten that type of contract on the open market. Maybe he would have gotten the average of the deal for one year. But it took that in order for him not to test market. Wouldn't say, though, that he took a hometown discount.

3:32 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Michael C,
I don't disagree. I see his actual value at his production level to be about $3 million these days.

3:33 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

Pat, Tigers didn't have too much of a choice unless they wanted to spend $10 million for Beltre. I am a little leary of the second year of his contract with his declining range and power that is abound too show up. Will Gaynor or Castellenos be ready in two years?

4:15 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

Pat, Tigers need to wait for the last moment to exercise Peralta's option. Just in case there is a MLB team that wants to clean house like the Marlins did 2007. We might fine a heck of a ss.

4:35 PM 
Blogger msu1983 said...

Anyone who complains about any salary for any Tiger needs a clue. Why do we care? Mike Ilitch has shown a continued willingness to pay (at times foolishly?) in order for the chance to win. Show me any evidence whatsoever where they couldn't/didn't pursue someone because of finances and that'll be the first (and don't say Polanco because Polly's issue was he wanted three years).

5:27 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...


But the money is certainly relevant here. As willing as Ilich is to spend, we will never be the Yankees or Red Sox with a payroll close to or over 200 million. Good teams select quality players in the draft and minimize where they overpay for free agents. The key on the free agent market is to find value for the money. That's why we had success in '06. Rookies (Grandy, JV, and Zumaya) cheap free agents (Kenny, Todd Jones) mixed in with the talent that was here (Pudge, Maggs, Guillen). Since then, though, all we do is overpay the wrong players. Sheff, Guillen, Robertson, Willis, Bonderman, and now Inge, to name a few.

At some point, these financial mistakes catch up with you. Polanco got a 3 year deal at the beginning of last season for 18 million, or 6 million per season. Over the same 3 years, 2 different contracts, Inge will get almost exactly the same dollar amount. And at this point, Polanco is the player that you want to pay to keep because his defensive metrics say he's as good as he's always been and his hitting hasn't slipped. Inge, however, is on the downturn of his career.

These mistakes in player evaluation that cause such financial gaffes are killing the Tigers, in my opinion. The same player is not as valuable to a team if he's overpaid because all those extra millions can be spent elsewhere.


9:00 AM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

Okay - I see everyone here is shocked and disgruntled with Inges 2 yr $11M deal with a 3rd year option.

I'm not shocked. And I am not disgruntled.

Lets see what happens with Maggs, Guillen, Laird, Bonderman, Peralta, yada and yada and yet another yada - first before.

Honestly - Inge is the least of the Tigers worries.

Book, I know Inge drives ya nuttier than a Michigan fan quiestioning your nutral college football stances - because this town loves Inge - but the real fact of the matter is:

Inge is not as good as his followers will tell you - and he is not as bad as his detractors will proclaim him to be. And I for one am happy to have inge on the left corner bag.

12:42 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I agree with you. I don't think, if they went looking, they could have gotten a better player for the position for Inge - unless it was overly costly.

11:43 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

While Ilitch has been willing to pay for players, sometimes he has pulled back when the payroll gets massive and the players aren't performing to the contract.

11:44 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
I agree. Finally the voice of reason. He is an average, everyday player. But there is no inbetween. Fans either love him or hate him.

11:45 AM 

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