Pirates strike minor league contract with Brandon Inge

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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.

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

The Marlins made another trade for international bonus pool money

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The Miami Marlins’ primary offseason goal thus far appears to be acquiring as much international bonus pool money as possible. Last week they traded their closer to the Nationals to get some. This morning they traded a couple of low-level prospects to the Astros to get more. Specifically, they traded lefty reliever Brayan de Paula and outfielder Adonis Giron to Houston for an unknown amount of slot money.

De Paula, 19, has pitched in the Dominican Summer League for the past two seasons while posting a 3.05 ERA and 57/16 K/BB ratio over 59 innings. Giron, 17, has one season of Dominican Summer League experience under his belt, where he hit .255/.331/.362 with three homers in 67 games.

The Marlins have made no secret of the fact that they’re after top international prospect Victor Victor Mesa and, possibly, his younger brother, Victor Mesa, Jr., which would explain the stockpiling of bonus money.