As expected, Brandon Inge has cleared waivers after being designated for assignment by the Tigers last week and accepted a demotion to Triple-A.
Inge is hitting .177 this season, hasn’t been a productive offensive player since 2006, and is owed around $7.5 million through the end of next season, so it’s no surprise that he went unclaimed.
It’s still possible that the Tigers will eventually be able to find a taker for Inge if they agree to eat the majority of that money in exchange for a low-level prospect, but short of that he simply doesn’t have any value at this point and Detroit may think keeping him around as emergency depth is more useful than a marginal prospect anyway.
For now Inge will play in Toledo while Wilson Betemit takes his old gig in Detroit.
The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.
Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.
Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.