In a somewhat surprising move, the Detroit Tigers announced the unconditional release of veteran infielder Brandon Inge yesterday. After the initial shock of Inge’s release wore off, rumors started to fly regarding a potential landing spot for the new free agent. Three teams in need of infield or defensive assistance found their way into Thursday’s rumors; the Baltimore Orioles, Oakland Athletics and Philadelphia Phillies.
Before he was released by the Tigers, Inge played in nine games and went 2-20 at the plate this season. With Miguel Cabrera moving back to third base this spring, Inge made a majority of his starts at second. Over the past several seasons, Inge has seen most of his action at the hot corner.
The Orioles interest in Inge has more to do with their defensive inefficiencies than anything. Baltimore currently has the most errors committed in the league at 22. Current Orioles third baseman Mark Reynolds is known to be a butcher in the field. Wilson Betemit and Chris Davis are the other potential options at third, and neither of them will get mistaken for Omar Vizquel anytime soon.
Oakland lost third baseman Scott Sizemore for the year before the regular season even began. This has resulted in a Josh Donaldson experiment which has not gone well at all. Donaldson has committed three errors over the span of nine starts and is only 3-32 at the plate, good for an OPS of .188.
The Phillies have been tied to potential infield depth for most of the spring after it became evident that Chase Utley wouldn’t break camp with the team. Philadelphia also lost utility infielder Michael Martinez early. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reminded us yesterday that the Phillies expressed trade interest in Inge during spring training.