Jason Beck of MLB.com passes along word that the Tigers designated veteran third baseman Brandon Inge for assignment following Wednesday’s loss to the A’s.
The writing was on the wall for Inge when Wilson Betemit was acquired from the Royals on Wednesday afternoon for two minor league prospects. Betemit is expected to take over starting duties at the hot corner and should be able to provide Detroit with far more offense than his predecessor.
Inge, who turned 34 years old in May, was batting just .177 with a .483 OPS and only 10 extra-base hits in 239 plate appearances this season. He should clear waivers and has informed the Tigers that he will accept an assignment to Triple-A Toledo.
Inge has spent all 11 of his major league seasons with Detroit, at first serving as a catcher. He twice slugged 27 home runs in a season and appeared in one All-Star Game. In order to make it back to the Motor City by the end of this summer, he’ll have to go on an absolute tear with the Mud Hens.
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.