Thursday, November 21, 2013

Fielder/Kinsler Trade Analysis

The Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers pulled off a rare one for one trade of stars on Wednesday.  It looks like it will be a trade that will benefit both parties.  Prince Fielder who is 29 years old and owed $168 million dollars through 2020 and plus cash was dealt for second baseman Ian Kinsler(31 years old and just completed his first season of a 5 yr/$75 million dollar contract).
2013 Topps Heritage
For the Texas Rangers, it gives a big bat in the middle of the lineup that they desperately need.  Fielder, even though is one of the top sluggers in MLB, seem to never totally mesh in Detroit.  He gets some pressure taken off of him and is in a much friendlier power hitting ballpark.  I would not be surprised that Fielder flirts with the 50 home run mark next season.
By moving Kinsler, it opens up second base for Jurickson Profar, who has shown he is ready to be an everyday big leaguer.  I also think Texas is not done in terms of looking for another bat.
2012 Topps Opening Day

As for Detroit, I believe it is a bit of a bigger win.  It is a disappointment that one of Detroit's favorite sons never really fulfilled his potential in Motown, but the deal gives the Tigers more flexibility all over.
On the field, Kinsler is a hitter who could leadoff and steal some bases.  He does have some pop also in his bat.  It gives new Manager Brad Ausmus another option to Austin Jackson for leadoff guy.  It will give him more opportunity to create runs via hit and run and advancing bases much more than Fielder.  Which is a big advantage for post season ball.
Off the field, the moves frees up a ton of money for Detroit. They could use that extra dollars in attempting to resign Cy Young winner Max Scherzer and extend Miguel Cabrera contract that concludes at the end of 2015 season.  Fielder's contract is so huge, it could have been an albatross if they tried to deal him down the road.  Kinsler's on the otherhand is much more trader friendly if they chose that route in the future.
The negative for Detroit in this trade is that it leads a big void behind Miguel Cabrera in the lineup.  Which brings me to my last point.  I truly believe that Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski is not done this off season. He will be looking for another bat.  This deal gives him more flexibility here.  Instead of going just for an outfielder with Cabrera stuck at third and Fielder at first base, he will have much more options.  He can either find an outfielder, move Nick Castellanos to third and Cabrera to First.  He can move Cabrera to first and acquire a third baseman or leave Castellenos and Cabrera and find a first baseman. There is also a possibility that DH Victor Martinez could play some first base also.   Dombrowski will have a much bigger pool of talent in finding another hitter.  This player position flexibiliy will also be beneficial in National League parks for getting the best bats in the lineup on a more consistent basis.
This trade seems to be a win/win for both clubs on paper, but time will tell in how it plays on the field

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