With spring camp just days away, one of the big questions in March will be what the Tigers do with their bench. Lynn Henning touches on this and a lot depends on whether Vance Wilson will be ready to start the season or not. If Wilson is healthy and ready to assume his duties as the backup catcher, then Marcus Thames, Brandon Inge, Ramon Santiago and Ryan Raburn will all fight for three spots on the roster. I think Thames is a lock based on talent and Santiago will make the team because he fills a vital need as a backup middle infielder. That leaves Inge and Raburn, who basically could fill similar roles. They’re paying Inge and he has the pedigree so that leaves Raburn sitting at Toledo until somebody goes down with an injury.
Of course the wild card would be if the Tigers can shop Inge. Then the next question would be, would any player(s) they get in the deal also compete for a bench spot. Unless a team loses a third baseman this spring, I don’t see the Tigers getting a good enough deal for Inge meaning Raburn is the odd man out.