Just about everyone in Detroit seems thrilled about the Prince Fielder signing despite plenty of room for concerns about his massive $214 million contract and how his arrival impacts the Tigers’ defense.
One person who definitely isn’t happy? Brandon Inge, who was slated to start at third base until Fielder’s presence pushed Miguel Cabrera across the diamond and sent Inge to the bench.
During the introductory press conference for Fielder yesterday manager Jim Leyland said he regretted Inge not finding out about the signing until after it happened and described him as “not the happiest camper.”
General manager Dave Dombrowski had similar thoughts, saying: “I can understand he wouldn’t be thrilled, but I also think at this point, probably the best thing for him to do–he’s not coming off a big year, the market is pretty well set–probably the best thing is to let him come to spring training, let him play well and let’s see what happens.”
In other words, Inge hit .197 last season, got demoted to Triple-A at one point, is 34 years old, and will make $5.5 million in 2012, so the happiness of that one particular camper shouldn’t really be a big factor for the Tigers right now. Detroit would gladly shed his salary if another team wanted Inge, but odds are that isn’t happening.