Several days ago, FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal thought he heard that Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge was claimed on the waiver wire. He soon after corrected the report to say Inge had not even been placed on it. Yet.
As far as we know, that report remains true today.
But that doesn't mean he won't be. It doesn't mean a club won't claim him if it is.
The Detroit News' Lynn Henning speculates today the Tigers could be starting to plan for Life After Inge, and that that date could come sooner than later.
It looks as if Inge could be playing for another team in 2011, and perhaps as early as this week as the Cardinals shop seriously for a trustworthy defender who can hit an occasional home run or score a runner from first base.
If that happens -- and the Tigers would expect him to clear waivers or be claimed by a team such as the Cardinals -- it would enable the Tigers to make a trade and get on with new strategies at third base and shortstop.
Fan favorite or not, it does make good sense to start planning for Life After Inge. For nine seasons now, he's been a mainstay in the Tigers uniform, and long enough at third base so much that they hardly tried to find a prospect for their minor league system that could play the hot corner. (At least I hope that's true, or else they failed miserably for most of those years.) Now that he's in the final year of his contract and the team is in a realistically-insurmountable hole in the division, there's time to look for internal solutions before hitting the free-agent market over the winter.
Henning suggests looking at a combination of Jhonny Peralta -- eligible to come back for a $7 million team option -- and Danny Worth on the left side of the infield. Of course we have the possibility of Ramon Santiago playing at short, too.
In the offseason, the team could always try to nab a refreshed Adrian Beltre, too, if nothing else turns out.
Or hey, the Tigers could just try to lure Inge back to Motown if all else fails.
The point is, this makes good sense. I like Inge, too, but 2010 was truly a transition year between generations of players, and at this point 2011 really must be the focus. If it takes moving Inge, I'm OK with that.
But do I think it's going to happen? No. I really don't. Not that GM Dave Dombrowski believes in sacred cows, but I just don't see it happening.
What's your take? Should they attempt to trade him? Do you think they actually would?