Thursday, October 21, 2010

Adrian Beltre Sweepstakes

The Detroit Tigers signed Brandon Inge to a 2-year $11.5 million contract extension this afternoon.  Inge is known for being versatile and playing very good defense at third base.

Adrian Beltre is by far and away the best free agent 3rd baseman this offseason.

After Adrian Beltre, the 2nd tier drops to guys like Jorge Cantu, Miguel Tejada, and expected non-tender players like Edwin Encarnacion.  Brandon Inge is good.  He's really not bad.  This was a nice, safe move by Detroit because he could have been the 2nd best free agent, if he had hit the open market.  However, please stay with us, Brandin Inge not nearly as good as Adrian Beltre.

Let's look at some basic numbers:

Offensively
wOBA
Adrian Beltre: .390
Brandon Inge: .314

Defensively
Ultimate Zone Rating
Adrian Beltre: 11.8
Brandon Inge: 3.1

Overall
Wins Above Replacement (Baseball-Reference)
Adrian Beltre: 6.1
Brandon Inge: 2.5

Wins Above Replacement (Fangraphs)
Adrian Beltre: 7.1
Brandon Inge: 2.1

With all the money the Tigers have to spend this offseason, I'm a bit surprised by the move.  I thought Detroit was a likely destination for Beltre, but I guess we can cross them off his list of potential landing spots.  For now, it looks like Adrian Beltre will likely end up with one of the following teams:

Red Sox
Orioles
Blue Jays
Angels
Mariners
Cardinals
Giants

Other teams are known to look for a third baseman, but I just don't see Cleveland, Florida, or Oakland taking the necessary financial plunge.  Scott Boras, you're on the clock.

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