Talk about starting the offseason with the bang.
On Wednesday night the Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers agreed to a blockbuster deal that will sent first baseman Prince Fielder to Texas in exchange for second baseman Ian Kinsler. Fielder has a limited no-trade clause that includes the Rangers but it is believed he is willing to accept the deal.
The trade reportedly does not involve any other players, but there could be money changing hands, since Fielder’s $214 million contract is much larger than Kinsler’s.
Earlier in the day, CBSSports’ Jon Heyman said the deal was a possibility but the two sides apparently moved quickly to get it done.
With Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar set as the Rangers’ middle infield of the future, moving the 31-year-old Kinsler makes a lot of sense. I think most people will be shocked the Tigers were willing to part with the 29-year-old Fielder, who has been an integral part of the team’s success since he arrived in 2012. But trading Fielder could open up payroll to sign ace righty Max Scherzer long-term.
Physicals will likely have to be completed before the deal becomes official.
Fielder is a five-time All-Star, three-time Silver Slugger winner and won the 2007 National League Hank Aaron Award. He is coming off a season in which he hit 25 home runs, had 106 RBIs and hit .279 with an OPS of .819 and a WAR of 1.7. He has also been incredibly durable, and has played in at least 157 games in each of his eight full big league seasons. In the past five seasons he has missed just one game.
Kinsler is a three-time All-Star and in 2013 he had a solid season. He hit .277 with 13 home runs, 72 RBIs, an OPS of .757 and a WAR of 5.0. He has been a valuable part of the Rangers’ roster in each of his eight big-league seasons.
This deal will completely transform the landscape in the American League. I’m amazed that it came together as quickly as it did.