No surprise: Inge clears waivers, Tigers outright him to Toledo
"Everyone goes through rough patches and I just need to go down and work on something. I’m not holding anyone responsible. It’s me. I’m in the batter’s box. I play 100 percent every day, and it just wasn’t working out right there," said the veteran third baseman, who was hitting just .177 with one home run, necessitating the team trading for the Royals' Wilson Betemit. "I haven’t been playing well, and there comes a time when you need to fix it.
"I’m actually in a good place with it. I want to go down there and work on it."
Even though the Tigers knew that the move could easily have resulted in the end of Inge's career with the organization, they're not counting him out, either.
"Can he get his swing back, and make things happen? Hopefully. Right now, when we look at it from our own situation, trying to win, it just hasn’t happened for him, really," Dombrowski said.
"He’s still fine at third base, and I think if he’s hitting like he’s capable of hitting, I think he’s plenty fine at third base. But I would think — he’s only human if it’s not affecting him at some point. I mean, he’s been scuffling. He tries his hardest, he gives you everything he can — he always has done that — and I’m sure it affects him.
"But unfortunately, that ... is part of being a big-league player, when you scuffle like that. Hey, when you’re a general manager, and you make a bad trade, people boo you and throw (barbs) at you. ... It’s the same thing: We’re in a production-oriented business."
Inge promised he'd be back when the rosters expand in September, but until then, he'll be a high-priced insurance policy, should Betemit or one of the reserve infielders get injured. His price tag, which includes the remainder of his $5.5 million salary from this year, as well as the rest of the two-year, $11 million contract he signed in the offseason.
That's likely a good part of the reason no team put in a waiver claim. There were some rumors that the Florida Marlins would put a claim in, hoping to land a calming influence for their young squad, but the team said recently it did not know where that rumor had started.