Pirates strike minor league contract with Brandon Inge


Danny Knobler of CBS Sports has the scoop:

Brandon Inge is close to signing with the Pirates, according to sources.

Inge is expected to sign a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training.

The 35-year-old infielder batted just .218/.275/.383 across 331 plate appearances last season between the Tigers and Athletics. But he does boast some pop, which is something that has been missing from the Pirates’ bench over the past few summers.

Inge has averaged 17 home runs for every 162 games over the course of his 12-year MLB career.


UPDATE, 9:43 PM: The deal has been agreed upon, according to MLB.com’s Tom Singer.

David Phelps to undergo Tommy John surgery

Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.

Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.

As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.