A’s to Sign Inge
Brandon Inge will be the newest person to enter the carousel that is third base following my speculation he would do so (before any other online sources that I could find may I note). In my mind there is no way to sugarcoat this signing. He is a bad player set to become a starter on a bad team. That said, he likely is better than either Josh Donaldson or Luke Hughes, and at third base quite possibly better than Eric Sogard as well. Inge’s 2012 has been pretty pathetic consisting of 20 at bats during which he has launched one home run, a game winner in Kansas City on April 16th, one of just two hits en route to a .100/.100/.300 slash line, .168 wOBA and -4 wRC+.
Over the course of his career he hasn’t been very effective with the bat sporting a .234/.304/.387 slash line, .301 wOBA and 80 wRC+. He has hit a few home runs (140 in his career, including two 27 HR seasons in 2006 and 2009) and draws an average amount of walks (8.0% career BB%) while striking out more than his fair share (22.9% career K%). He is versatile, which is a plus for the A’s and can catch, play third and second as well, along with all the outfield positions, and though he never has played there I don’t see any reason why he couldn’t possibly be a right-handed option at first base either. He is a plus defender behind the plate, at third, in center field and in right field in his career, and while I will buy the negative defender at second base, the left field negative mark I think is probably more the result of a small sample size rather than his being ill equipped to do it.
Inge looks like he will be the starting third baseman and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the lineup tomorrow at Fenway Park as the A’s open a set with the Red Sox. What this means rosterwise is most likely Hughes’ days as an Oakland Athletic (and perhaps as a Major Leaguer for the time being) are over. Hughes went 1-for-13 for the A’s with no walks and six strikeouts in his what assuming he is DFA’d tomorrow will be a very brief tenure in Oakland. The A’s quickly go from being the first franchise in history with three Australians to having just one – though there have been some rumors percolating that Grant Balfour has the Angels’ interest which would leave the A’s Aussie-less.