Sep 18, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; General view of the right field lights that went out prior to the game between the Detroit Tigers and the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
28. Brandon Inge: Stuck Around Too Long
For several years, Brandon Inge was a regular component of the Detroit Tigers roster between 2001 and 2012. Even though Inge was really just an average player with a pair of non-consecutive good years, the Tigers repeatedly rewarded him with substantial contracts. These transactions surprised many fans and critics simply because his highest WAR was 4.9 in 2006, which was also one of two years that he hit 27 home runs. He frequently landed in the top ten for strikeouts. On the defensive side, Inge was often the league leader in errors at third base despite ESPN rewarding him with the 2006 third baseman defensive play of the year.
Dave Dombrowski wanted to keep Inge for much longer than he should have, which is why he gave Inge an $11 million contract for 2011 and 2012. This contract also included a $6 million extension or $500,000 buy-out for 2013. The disappointing part of this contract was Inge’s playing in 2011. He hit .197/.283/.548 in 110 games. His WAR for 2011 was -1.0. Unfortunately for the Tigers and for Inge, the poor performance continued into 2012. The team released him and he signed with the Oakland A’s, keeping the Tigers from having to pay the remainder of the $5.5 million they owed him for 2012.
Next: #27 Always a Tiger Killer