Found November 20, 2013 on The Farm Club:
The Detroit Tigers have traded Prince Fielder to the Texas Rangers for Ian Kinsler as first reported by CBS Sports. So what does this mean? There are many consequences to this trade for the Detroit Tigers. Position Moves Prince Fielder’s presence at first base greatly limited the Tigers’ defense and his departure opens up this defense. Kinsler will play 2nd base and replace Omar Infante who will not be returning to the Tigers in 2014. This opening at 1st will allow Cabrera move back from 3rd to 1st. He moved to 3rd with the arrival of Fielder and his mobility was greatly limited especially after his injury to his groin. This leaves an opening at 3rd which can be filled by Nick Castellanos. The Castellanos experiment in the outfield was one that probably was not going to be all that productive. Castellanos can now move back to 3rd, his natural position. Many believed that Castellanos was going to be ready for the big club this year and get playing time in left field. If the Tigers are going to move him to third, it is important that they know he will be ready for the task. The last two times the Tigers have trusted a prospect, it has ended in the demotion of Bruce Rondon at the beginning of last season and the demotion and eventual removal of Scott Sizemore. As of now, the Tigers’ infield looks to be Cabrera, Kinsler, Jose Iglesias, Castellanos, and Alex Avila. Contract Swaps Ian Kinsler’s contract is not in the better half of the contracts around baseball, but it is not nearly as bad as Fielder’s was. Only Albert Pujols’s contract is worse than Fielder’s. Fielder is signed until 2020 for $24 million per year. Kinsler is signed through 2017 for $50 million with a team option for 2018 at $12 million with at $5 million buyout. This saves the Tigers $168 million if the Tigers pick up the option in 2018. This $171 million can be used for many different players. Miguel Cabrera has publicly stated that he would like to be a Tiger for life and the Tigers could use this money to extend Cabrera’s contract through the end of the 2-time MVP’s career. He is the best hitter in all of baseball and the Tigers could lock him up for years to come. Max Scherzer has made it known that he would be open to a contract extension before he becomes a free agent after next season. He does not want to be traded by the Tigers and the Tigers could use this money to extend Scherzer as well. The Tigers now have a lot of money that they could also used to fill an outfield spot, bullpen help, and possibly open other trade opportunities. If the Tigers move people’s positions like stated in the previous paragraph, the Tigers could use this money to pursue free agent outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo. Fills the Need at 2nd Base The Detroit Tigers let Omar Infante walk this off-season without a qualifying offer leaving a hole at second base which was going to be filled by Hernan Perez. No offense to Perez, but he is not ready to be a full-time starter in Major League Baseball. Kinsler committed the most errors of all 2nd basemen in all of baseball, and in danger of sounding like I am making the Brandon Inge argument of old, Kinsler is in the top 5 of the rest of the defensive categories. Kinsler also brings a career .273/.349/.454 split offensively with an average of 20 HR and 70 RBI. These numbers were in Texas which will elevate the power numbers greatly, but the space of Comerica Park will down the power numbers, but increase the number of doubles and triples hit by Kinsler. He is a top 5 offensive 2nd baseman and will fill 2nd base until 2017. Tigers’ fans may grow tired of Kinsler and his contract, but they need to remember that it is not Prince Fielder’s contract. Leadoff Hitter Austin Jackson’s struggles in the playoffs were very apparent and Tigers’ fans grew very tired of Jackson in the postseason. He had durability problems last season with his hamstring injury. The Tigers will probably move Jackson down to the 5th spot in the order and Kinsler will probably lead off. He steals more bases. If Kinsler can get on base and produce runs with his speed, the Tigers will be able to produce and *gasp* manufacture runs instead of only thumping and being a station to station team. This trade is a short-term push and a long-term win for the Detroit Tigers for ridding himself of the Prince Fielder contract. The post What the Prince Fielder – Ian Kinsler Trade Means for the Detroit Tigers appeared first on The Farm Club.
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