Detroit Tigers trade for a third baseman

The Detroit Tigers made a trade today, and two things are now very clear for fans of this team. They are pretty serious about contending for an American League Central title this year, and Brandon Inge’s time with the team seems to be coming to an end. Inge is the longest serving Tiger player (on the active roster), but his recent antics have not endeared himself to Tigers fans, and his performance at the plate hardly justifies his 5.5 million dollar salary for the 2011 season.

Inge is an above average defensive player at third, and a below average hitter. If he were the only subpar hitter in the Tigers’ lineup each day it would be very easy to hide him in the nine hole, and justify his salary with his defensive abilities. Even though I am a Tigers fan, I have grown tired of Inge’s act recently and that was before he went on Local Detroit TV and Radio and said that Tigers fans are not true fans if they choose to boo him.

The simple fact here is third base in today’s MLB is a power position and Inge is hitting just .177. They acquired William Betemit who has lost playing time at third for the Kansas City Royals, and is hitting .281. He is on a one year contract so this is clearly a move to win a division title now, and worry about later, well later.

The Tigers gave up two prospects for Betemit. Since I cover the Detroit Tigers for mtrbaseball.com I can tell you, they gave up two guys (C Julio Rodriguez and LHP Antonio Cruz) who had not risen above the Tigers low level farm system teams. If Betemit works out, I can envision them resigning him the future. That has been the M.O. of this team in recent years.

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