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.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.