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Brandon Inge Wants to Go

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Should he stay or should he go? That's the question we're asking about Brandon Inge, who lost his starting third baseman's job to Detroit's Next Top Baseball Star, Miguel Cabrera, this week.

Some think it's pretty apparent that Inge no longer has a place on the team, as there's no position for him to fill and $6 million is a lot to pay for a "super-sub" utility player. Others point to Cabrera's inferior defense (.627 zone rating, compared to Inge's .712, for example) and feel the Tigers should move him to left field and keep Inge's slick glove at third. Based on the statistical analysis by both Billfer and Lee, however, it looks to be about even, with the benefit of Cabrera's added offense just overtaking that of Inge's defense.

But Inge seemingly settled the argument himself by informing the Tigers that he'd prefer to be traded to a team for which he could be the starting third baseman.

"He's loved his time here," president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said Friday. "He loves the city. He loves the organization. But at this point in his career, he would like to continue playing third base on an everyday basis."
Assuming the Tigers accommodate Inge's request - and Dave Dombrowski apparently spent the last couple days of the Winter Meetings trying to find an open base third base job - where might he end up? Both the Phillies and Dodgers have passed on a potential deal.

Brew Crew Ball thinks an Inge-for-Chris Capuano deal might work, as the Brewers have pitching to spare these days. (If you're curious, the Tigers would have Capuano for two years before he's eligible for free agency.) But with Dontrelle Willis coming to Detroit with Cabrera, the Tigers' starting rotation is fully stocked. Maybe the Brewers have a reliever to spare after signing Eric Gagne?

Milwaukee would like to trade Capuano for Scott Rolen, but the Cardinals want more in return and aren't crazy about trading within the NL Central. After the Cards get this Rolen thing straightened out, might they be interested in Inge?

The gang at Athletics Nation likes Inge as a third baseman in Oakland. What would the A's have to offer in return? Not quite sure. And would Billy Beane want to take on the remaining $19 million in Inge's contract?

The San Francisco Giants have also been mentioned as a possible trade partner for Inge. And they'll have a hole at third base with Pedro Feliz declining arbitration. But if Brian Sabean won't give Feliz a three-year deal, would he want three years of Inge?

The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo believes Inge (whose wife is from the Boston area) could be a good fit for the Red Sox as a utility guy.