Brandon Inge has said he’ll accept a demotion to the minors after being designated for assignment by the Tigers following yesterday’s trade for Wilson Betemit, but now Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports that the Marlins are “looking at” Inge.
According to Frisaro “the Marlins have made it clear that they are seeking veteran experience at third base.” Inge certainly fits that description, but he’s also hitting .177 this season and has batted a combined .226 with a .307 on-base percentage and .375 slugging in 638 games since 2007.
Frisaro points out that Detroit is looking for bullpen help, hinting that Florida closer Leo Nunez could be a fit, but between Inge’s terrible production and $5.5 million salary for 2012 the Marlins would have to be insane to make that swap. At this point the 34-year-old Inge has negative value. If the Marlins want Inge they could have him for nothing, but presumably they’re smart enough to at least make the Tigers eat some of that money.
The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.