It's taken a few months more than expected, but the Brandon Inge rumors have started to percolate. Lessee...good defender...terrible on-base percentage...enough power to fool a GM who doesn't care enough about on-base percentage...I'm going to guess that "Inge" means "happy" in some Scandinavian language. If the Giants weren't willing to go for a three-year deal on Feliz, why would they commit to Inge for three?
All things being equal, they shouldn't. But if the Giants could give away Dave Roberts in a deal, it starts to make a teeny bit of sense. That would be two years of a completely redundant player for three years of a player who plays a position of need and who wouldn't block a prospect. If a trade for Inge gives more at bats to Fred Lewis, Rajai Davis, and Nate Schierholtz, it might be a sound move in the short term. In the long term, there's just no way to sugarcoat Brandon Inge's presence in the organizational blueprint for 2010, but that short-term payoff is pretty attractive.
Inge did have nine stolen bases last season, which increased his Scrappiness Quotient by a factor of 1.12. Or, to put it in layman's terms, a Google search for "Brandon Inge" and "gamer" brings back 222,000 results. A similiar query for Pedro Feliz only brings back 196,000 results. In the worst-case scenario, Kevin Frandsen only gets 47,800 results. That would be an affront to all that is scrappy.
Sarcasm aside, I would not have re-signed Pedro Feliz because it would have cost the Giants an extra draft pick with few advantages in the short term. I would not trade for Joe Crede because the White Sox actually want some sort of value back for a player coming back from back surgery with a single year left on his contract. If I could foist Dave Roberts and another contract on the Tigers, though, I think I would acquire Inge. Realistically, the only cons to a straight flotsam-for-jetsam exchange between the Tigers and Giants would be if a) Eugenio Velez really is best suited for third base or b) someone from the farm (Travis Denker, etc...) establishes himself as a viable candidate between now and 2010. Neither is likely enough to alter potential roster jiggering in 2008.
It's not that I dislike Dave Roberts; I just hate how he fits on this particular roster. If Inge's acquisition can carve out some more playing time for one or two of the three interesting young hitters the Giants have, I'd plug my nose, hope that he returns to the .260/.330/.419 hitter of a few years ago, and offer Dave Roberts and Steve Kline.
Note: The site will be down for a couple of hours this afternoon at 4:00 p.m. or so. When the site returns, your life will be noticeably better. The smell should be gone too, but I promise nothing