Link-O-Rama: Inge, Grabow, Strasburg, Gaga

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* After turning in an absolutely brutal second half that contributed to the Tigers coughing up their AL Central lead, Brandon Inge underwent surgery yesterday to address chronic patellar tendinitis in both knees.
He’ll be shut down for about six weeks, but should have plenty of time to get healthy by spring training. Inge has one season and $6.6 million remaining on his contract.
* Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com reports that the Cubs and impending free agent reliever John Grabow are working on a two-year contract worth around $7 million. Acquired from the Pirates at midseason, Grabow posted a 3.24 ERA and 16/12 K/BB ratio in 25 innings for the Cubs. His control is spotty, but Grabow has generally been a decent left-handed setup man.
* Each year the Arizona Fall League has a “Rising Stars Game” featuring the best of the prospect bunch and for anyone interested in getting a good look at No. 1 overall pick Stephen Strasburg (or the various other future All-Stars) the game will be broadcast Saturday afternoon on MLB Network.
* New Yorker and Yankees fan Lady Gaga has recently taken to comparing herself to Mariano Rivera during interviews. “I feel like I’m Rivera. I’m a closer.” More like Ruben Rivera, if you ask me.

Report: Braves extend Kurt Suzuki

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Kurt Suzuki will wear a Braves’ uniform through the 2018 season after signing a one-year, $3.5 million extension with the club on Saturday, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal adds that the two had been in talks for weeks and Suzuki made it clear that he wanted to remain in Atlanta for the foreseeable future. The team has yet to announce the extension.

Suzuki, 33, initially signed a one-year contract with the Braves back in January. The veteran backstop stepped into a backup role behind starting catcher Tyler Flowers, but still found a way to impress at the plate with a .271/.343/.525 batting line, career-best 18 home runs and an .868 OPS through 287 PA. According to FanGraphs, Suzuki’s 2.2 fWAR makes 2017 his most valuable season since his run with the 2009 Athletics.

It’s a prudent move for the Braves, who would have lost one of their most dynamic second-half hitters to the free agent market this offseason. Entering Saturday, Suzuki is second only to Freddie Freeman with 11 homers and 1.4 fWAR since the All-Star break. His stunning comeback also confirmed the team’s decision to look outside the organization for a backup catcher, rather than turning to fellow veteran Anthony Recker behind the plate.

“On a personal level, this season exceeded my expectations,” Suzuki told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s just one of those things I can’t explain. I put a lot of work in and really didn’t have a job until late January. I got an opportunity here and took advantage of it. It was definitely a good fit.”

Mikie Mahtook is likely done for the season

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Tigers’ outfielder Mikie Mahtook is unlikely to play again this season, club manager Brad Ausmus announced Saturday. Mahtook was diagnosed with a Grade 2 left groin strain following Friday’s series opener against the Twins, when he appeared to injure himself after chasing down Byron Buxton‘s two-RBI double in the fourth.

This is the second time Mahtook has sustained a groin injury over the past month. The 27-year-old exited Friday’s game with a .276/.330/.457 batting line, 12 home runs and a .787 OPS through 379 plate appearances with the team.

With the Tigers out of contention, there’s no reason to trot out Mahtook for the remaining eight games of the regular season. The club has yet to specify a timetable for his return, but there’s no reason to believe he won’t be in fine shape to compete for a starting role next spring.