Does Brandon Inge Interest You?

The Detroit Free Press is reporting that the Cubs and Tigers have had "general discussions" about getting the Tigers some bullpen help. The Cubs are, of course, in the market for a right-handed hitting, three-spot outfielder.

The Cubs have considered adding a right-handed hitter who is capable of playing centerfield. Whether coincidental or not, Brandon Inge is expected to start in center for Detroit this afternoon against Philadelphia.

I should note that the Tigers played the Astros today and Inge does not show up in the box score and I see no mentions of a split-squad game, so it's entirely possible that the writer is whacked. 

The article also mention Marcus Thames, but Leyland seems to like him, and he's not really suited for centerfield supposedly. 

Of course, the same could be said of Brandon Inge, who came up as a catcher and has played third base most of his career. He has played some outfield, including 20 games at center (most of those in 2004). But is this what the Cubs had in mind? 

Somehow I doubt it, but I did hear one of the local Detroit press guys on XM radio a few weeks back saying that Inge could TRULY play all eight positions on the diamond and excel at most of them. Unfortunately, Inge has stated his unwillingness to be a platoon player or semi-regular. Not to mention he had a truly awful season offensively last year(236/312/376) and has a rather hefty contract (signed through 2010 with over $19 MM left on his deal). But if the numbers could work and if the game was based on theory, he wouldn't be a bad player to have around. In reality, it's doubtful this rumor will go anywhere...which would put it up there with most of the Cubs offseason hot stove talk.

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Comments

Yes...if he can be flipped for Figgins.

now that would be pure awesome...

Word. And the Cubs REALLY need to turn on the awesome a little bit.

That would make my pants tight.

ok that's not an image that i would want to take home to anyone.

I watch a lot of Tigers.

No No No No NO.

Trading Inge away to be a part time player would be a move Domb. probably wouldn't make. He's a bit too classy to do that to a guy he signed to a long term contract that's still capable of starting.

"The Cubs have considered adding a right-handed hitter who is capable of playing centerfield. Whether coincidental or not, Brandon Inge is expected to start in center for Detroit this afternoon against Philadelphia."

fwiw, leyland stated after inge's "okay, i caught, but no..dont want this" thing that inge would be playing CF. yesterday he said it i think...kinda off the cuff. maybe the day before.

I should note that the Tigers played the Astros today and Inge does not show up in the box score and I see no mentions of a split-squad game, so it's entirely possible that the writer is whacked. 

...my pants are loose.

Unless the deal is getting 'hot'...and he was held out?

Well he also got the team wrong that they're playing...so I'm dubious.


I too watch a lot of Tigers, and NO. He is a good team player, but consistently disappointing in clutch situations. He salary is way too big for what he is.

And to be honest, why would the Cubs want a CF who has never played there consistently? Inge is a great athlete, but not the right fit for the Cubs.

"And to be honest, why would the Cubs want a CF who has never played there consistently"

Well they never tried it be....oh yeah never mind.

I say we get another player we don't need.

This is my feeling. We need to put Pie out there to sink or swim. The position the Cubs need is shortstop but they refuse to admit that and/or doing anything about it.

It's like getting bombed by an Afghani terror organization then attacking Iraq.

KIDDING!!!!!!! DO NOT BEGIN A POLITICAL DEBATE!!!!!

Don't we have a third baseman?

Isn't getting veteran shlubs to compete with the young talent the exact thing the Cubs did under Dusty? We should have enough offense. Let Pie play.

NO!!!

This would make ZERO sense for the Cubs unless it is part of a 3-way deal, which I don't see happening.

i agree that pie has to just play lets see what he can
do the first half of year and then go from there.

I don't get it. The Cubs have one legitimate defensive shortstop in Ronny Cedeno, and one Brian Roberts-ish second baseman in Mark DeRosa, and two middle infielders who can sub in Theriot and Fontenot. And they want to trade the shortstop and prospects for a second baseman?

The Cubs have a blue chip center field prospect in Pie, a decent backup in Fuld, and a highly regarded Japanese import in Fukudome who many feel can play center, but they want to trade for Coco Crisp or Marlon Byrd?

The Cubs have a premium catching prosect in Soto, and a solid-as-a-rock, everyday thirdbaseman in Ramirez, yet they want to trade for the expensive Brandon Inge who plays those two positions and see if he can hack it in center?

I don't really see how any of those trades help the Cubs. I guess Roberts would probably be a little bit better than DeRosa/Fontenot/Theriot, and if he was acquired Piniella might actually be convinced to bat him leadoff instead of Soriano, but the defensive hit in playing anyone but Cedeno at short and the loss of prospects in an already mediocre system would more than offset that.

"and a solid-as-a-rock, everyday thirdbaseman in Ramirez"

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. That solid everyday thirdbasemen has really been tearing up the Cactus League so far, hasn't he?

I like Aram-Ram but replacing his bat in the lineup with Mike Fontenot just isn't that great an idea, to me. Inge does make sense that he can fill the role DeRosa would be pushed to if we get Roberts. It doesn't make a great deal of sense to trade for both of them, though.

I don't think it's going to happen, but Lou wants a super sub. If it's not going to be DeRosa or Cedeno then Inge is better, in my mind, than Torres or Cintron. The team is going to be better with Inge than without.

TRN:
You are, of course, being sarcastic about Ramirez? After a week of Spring Training? He has averaged .283/.336/.500 in his career, and over the last 3 seasons, .310/.366/.549.

That's really solid. Screw spring training.

I was focusing on the 'everyday' part. Aramis is a good bet to miss 20 to 30 games. He's not exactly Cal Ripken. That's why having Ronny Cedeno and Fontenot as his backups aren't so appealing to me. If he was going to play 155 games, either would be fine, but if you need a guy to start 30 games, Inge isn't so unnapealing.

Going out and getting a square peg to fit into a round hole. If they truly feel that they need a RH hitting backup Cfer. There will be a dozen of them available at the end of ST. It might not be a guy with the "name recognition" that Jim Hendry seems to so desperately rely upon. But the chances are that it will be a guy who fits MUCH better. Not to mention that said guy won't prevent future moves from a cumberome/millstone contract.

Man i still can't believe people think DeRosa is on the level of Brian Roberts.

Brian Roberts is one of the elite 2nd basemen in baseball. Mark DeRosa isnt. Its a pretty widely held fact.

Do you think Eric Patterson could put up Roberts-esque production if given the chance? Personally I think he could.

If EP can play second... I think offensively Roberts is a very good comparison for him. EP doesn't switch hit, though. Pretty much Robert's stat line is what I would expect EP to do in 2-3 years. That would work at second or center.

In the games I've seen, Epatt has really good range. He hits from the left side. I think he gets really underated in Cubbie circles. He just hasnt gotten the hype that Pie and Colvin has.

Do you believe Alfonso Soriano should be playing 2B for the Cubs?   

Like Soriano, the best parts of Eric Patterson's game at 2B are his range, arm strength, and his ability to go out into the outfield and catch pop-ups. He can make difficult plays look easy.  

His big problems are (like Soriano) the inability to consistenltly make the routine play. He is a two-guard playing point guard. The more time he has, the more likely he is to throw the ball away, and he has difficulty making accurate throws to the shortstop on DP balls. He panics. He also has a propensity for mishandling routine ground balls. The easier the play, the more likely he will blow it. He doesn't do it every time, but it happens often enough that over time you begin to see a pattern. 

Like Soriano, Patterson might play 2B in the big leagues, but over time, he will get exposed as a defensive liability at that position. 

If you think E-Pat can be an everyday MLB second-baseman and the ability to consistently make routine plays is overrated, then why not play Murton in LF and move Soriano back to SS? Wouldn't Soriano's offense trump his defensive shortcomings as a middle infielder?

I worry about Soriano's health at SS. I really WOULD like to see Soriano given a chance to play second, to be quite honest. I could live with 10-15 errors and improved range at second, as opposed to 5-7 errors and Average Range that DeRosa brings to the table. The only reason Soriano moved to Left was because Jose Vidro was the 2nd best hitter on the 2006 Washington club. But I would venture to say that Soriano's teams are WELL above .500 with him starting at 2nd base. I could live with 15 errors from him at 2nd. 25 Errors? Maybe not then.

For the record. The 5 years that Soriano was the starting 2nd basemen on a team. Their records were

95-65
103-58
101-61
89-73
79-83

So it's not like his Defense ever prevented his team from Winning.

MikeC:
"Man i still can't believe people think DeRosa is on the level of Brian Roberts."

Who thinks they are even?

He had between 19 and 23 errors in each of his seasons as a starting 2B, and that doesn't factor in the numerous defensive plays that don't get listed as errors (e.g. missing a DP opportunity).

But you have to assume his superior range let him get to balls that a Todd Walker or Mark DeRosa could not.

DeRo is a MUCH better fielder than Walker. Bad comparison, IMHO.

This is it from me one this one. I am not advocating Soriano for 2nd base. But for the sake of full disclosure. Here is career fielding numbers AT 2nd BASE.

Mark DeRosa .984 4.09 Range Factor

Todd Walker .981 4.33 Range Factor

Fonzie Sori .971 4.69 Range Factor

B. Roberts .987 4.57 RF

RynoSandberg .989 5.10 RF

So basically Todd Walker was an average defender overall. DeRosa is overrated as a defender. Soriano wasnt THAT bad, Brian Roberts is a slight defensive upgrade.(Though not as big an upgrade as some seem to think.)

You forgot to mention that Ryno was phenomenal in the field. Not too shabby with the bat either.

Soriano doesn't even want to play 2b anymore...let this one go. He truly was one of the worst defensive 2b there ever was (with significant playing time).

I don't know how reliable Range Factor is, but Walker's was lower as a Cub (4.08, 4.19. 3.67). Maybe, then, it's just my perception of watching Walker vs. DeRosa, but DeRo seems smoother to me. Plus he plays RF and 3B as well, is much more athletic than Walker, etc.

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