Slumping third baseman Brandon Inge was released by the Detroit Tigers on Thursday.
The team announced the move following a 5-4 loss to the Seattle Mariners. Inge is batting .100 (2 for 20) with a home run and two RBIs this season.
"It's one of those things you can kind of see how things are going before they come. But it's no hard feelings whatsoever. This is my family, this is where I've been my whole career. I'll miss the guys, I will," Inge said. "But I have a chance to go play maybe somewhere else. It may be a good thing, a good start for me personally, but my heart will always be in Detroit for 100 per cent and forever."
The 34-year-old Inge is in his 12th season in the majors, all with Detroit. He played mostly third base for the Tigers, but has also caught, played the outfield and second base.
"He's been a true soldier for a long time, even long before I was here," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "He's been with me here six-plus years now and like I say, a true solider."
Inge is a .234 career hitter with 140 homers and 589 RBIs. With his release, Ramon Santiago is the lone player remaining from the 2003 Tigers team that lost a near-record 119 games. Inge had been the only player that had remained with the organization uninterrupted since 2003.
Detroit also announced it had called up first baseman Brad Eldred from AAA Toledo after the game.
"We had some discussions today and we just feel at this point we're trying to add some offence," general manager Dave Dombrowski said. "Eldred's been hot as can be. And it's a situation where we're going to try to make a move to get him on the ballclub and see if he can give us a little offence, primarily from the DH position."
Eldred was hitting .388 at Toledo with 13 home runs and 35 RBIs in 20 games.
Detroit is responsible for the $4,808,743 US remaining on Inge's $5.5 million salary this year and the $500,000 buyout of his $6 million option for 2013, a total of $5,308,743. But the Tigers could save up to $417,049 if he were to sign with another team Friday.