Third baseman Brandon Inge agreed to sign with the Oakland Athletics, a person with knowledge of negotiations said Sunday.
Inge gives Oakland experience at a position that has been mix-and-match so far – and some versatility considering he can also play several other spots.
The deal was pending a physical and final paperwork, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because nothing had been finalized and the A’s were yet to make a formal announcement.
Inge was released by the Tigers on Thursday after batting .100 (2-for-20) with one home run and two RBI in nine games. Inge, who turns 35 on May 19, joins his first new team in his 12th major league season. In Detroit, he played mostly third base, but he has also caught and played the outfield and second base.
He’ll try to fill a huge void at third, where the A’s lost projected starter Scott Sizemore to a season-ending knee injury in the first full-squad workout of spring training Feb. 27. Oakland manager Bob Melvin has tried Josh Donaldson, Eric Sogard and Luke Hughes in the spot so far. That trio left for the current road trip batting a combined .111 with eight errors.
It’s a far cry from the sure-handed play the A’s used to get from six-time Gold Glove winner Eric Chavez at third. Oakland thought it had the answer in Sizemore, who also came from the Tigers in a trade in May.
Inge is a .234 career hitter with 140 homers and 589 RBI.
Struggling Yankees starter Freddy Garcia is going to the bullpen. Garcia was shifted to a relief role Sunday, a day after he gave up six runs to the Tigers in 12/3 innings. The outing boosted his ERA to 12.51. I’m not surprised,” Garcia said. “You play here in New York, they expect (you) to pitch good.” … The Braves optioned right-hander Cory Gearrin to Triple-A Gwinnett to clear a roster spot for Tim Hudson to come off the disabled list and start Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh. Gearrin was recalled Tuesday when struggling right-hander Jair Jurrjens was sent to Gwinnett. Gearrin did not appear in a game with Atlanta. … Three Pirates farmhands combined on a no-hitter in the Indianapolis Indians’ 2-0 victory over the Durham Bulls on Sunday in the International League. Winning pitcher Justin Wilson struck out nine in 7 innings. Jose Diaz, who retired the only two batters he faced. Doug Slaten got three groundouts in the ninth.