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.

If the Tigers are sub-.500 at the end of June it’ll be fire sale time

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Jon Morosi reports that that the Detroit Tigers will make all veterans available via trade if they’re still under .500 by the end of June.

This was the position they entered the offseason with — everyone is available! — but they ended up gearing up for one more push with the core of veterans they currently employ. It was not a bad move, I don’t think. With the exception of the Indians, the AL Central is mostly down, or at least appeared to be over the winter, with the Royals in decline and the Twins and White Sox seemingly a few years away from contention. The Twins, however, have been fantastic and the Tigers have mostly underachieved.

So we’re back to this. Which veterans the Tigers can reasonably unload, however, is an open question. J.D. Martinez is in his walk year, so while tradable, he may not bring back a big return. Guys like Justin Upton, Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera either have very large contracts or no-trade protection.

The end of June is still a while from now, of course, and while the Tigers are under .500, they’re only 4.5 games behind the Twins. But they had better turn it around or else it sounds like the front office is going to turn the page.

Must-Click Link: Remembering Eddie Grant the first major leaguer to die in combat

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As you get ready for Memorial Day weekend and whatever it entails for you and yours, take some time to read an excellent article from Mike Bates over at The Hardball Times.

The article is about Eddie Grant. You probably never heard of him. He was a journeyman infielder — often a backup — from 1905 through 1915. If you have heard of him, it was likely not for his baseball exploits, however: it was because he was the first active baseball player to die in combat, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October 1915.

Michael tells us about more than Grant’s death, however. He provides a great overview of his life and career. And notes that Grant didn’t even have to go to war if he didn’t want to. He was 34, had the chance to coach or manage and had a law degree and the potential to make a lot of money following his baseball career. He volunteered, however, for both patriotic and personal reasons. And it cost him his life.

Must-read stuff indeed. Especially this weekend.