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Pirates to sign Brandon Inge

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Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

The Pirates are "expected to " sign Brandon Inge to a minor-league deal, Danny Knobler writes.

Inge can be useful to have around in that he's an excellent defensive third baseman, but you'd hate for the Pirates to get to the point where they feel like they have to use him there. The only other position he's played in recent years is the outfield, where he also won't have much use to the Pirates. (If he could play middle infield, that would be a different story.)

On top of that, Inge can't really hit for average anymore, having batted .197 and .218 the past two seasons. Inge somehow managed to be 1.6 wins above replacement last year, but aging third basemen who play great defense but can't really hit aren't exactly a hot commodity. In addition to the defense, Inge can take a walk and hit a homer or two, so he can be a nice player if he bats .250. But I wouldn't bet on that happening again.

But whatever. It's hard to make a terrible minor-league signing, and this certainly wouldn't qualify.

UPDATE: Jon Morosi writes that Inge and the Pirates have agreed to terms.