Paul Wezner, Executive Editor
At this point, the Tigers face a very difficult situation. Obviously, Inge wants to be a starting third baseman, and since that's no longer an option in Detroit, he wants to do it elsewhere. On the other hand, the Tigers aren't just going to give him away, considering the value he currently holds to the team as a "super-sub". The other factor is, unlike other deals the Tigers have made, salary will be a consideration. Brandon Inge has 3 years and $19 million left on his contract, and the Tigers have no intention of eating that if they move him. With no teams in dire need of a starting third baseman currently, I'll say the market just doesn't exist for him, and the Tigers hold onto him, at least initially. Of course, one major injury to a third baseman somewhere in baseball without a suitable backup and that could change quickly. But for now, Inge will be a Tiger in 2008.
Mark Anderson, Managing Editor
With every passing day -- despite media reports -- I grow more skeptical of an Inge trade prior to the start of the 2008 season. Inge does in fact have a high value to this team; a value they would be hard pressed to fill through any other avenue. He brings the ability to play better than average defense at a number of positions; including third, catcher, and all three outfield spots. It is also not out of the realm of reasonableness to assert that he could likely handle shortstop and second base with aplomb. That type of value on a contending team's bench is hard to duplicate. With that in mind, it is very difficult to determine that he would carry that much value to another team, meaning the Tigers would be unlikely to receive fair value in a trade of Inge. If Inge is in fact dealt -- which I do not believe will happen -- it will be as a result of a significant injury to the starting third baseman of another team during spring training.
Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
I'll say yes, he'll be traded. Once teams begin to sift through spring training, and evaluate needs or possible upgrades, better offers will begin to come in. And if he isn't moved by the end of spring training, it won't be an issue, because Inge's versatility will allow him to get more playing time than what the typical utility player gets. Not to mention that if an injury arises (depending on the severity), a team may become desperate to fill that hole. Although Inge may not be happy with his present situation, Dave Dombrowski won't give him away, so this is a situation that may not get resolved for a long while.
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