I figure there's probably enough interest in the hot stove. Lots of interesting rumors and moves but first how about the blockbuster Ian Kinsler for Prince Fielder trade!
The deal is a one-for-one swap of stars. It is believed the Tigers are sending about $30 million to cover part of the difference in salaries.
Fielder waived his no-trade clause, approving the deal, sources said. He has a limited no-clause provision that includes the Rangers, but didn't balk at the trade to Texas, provided he retains his limited protection going forward. He'll be going to a better hitter's park in a state with no income tax.
This really came out of nowhere and has impacts on some many levels. When Jon Heyman, who while well connected I don't follow since he is also a Boras mouthpiece, tweeted that there were talks of this, I thought nothing of it. Then soon enough the deal was done.
I think this is a great deal for both teams for a few reasons but first here's a contract breakdown.
Ian Kinsler Remaining Contract
2014: $16M - Age 32
2015: $16M - Age 33
2016: $14M - Age 34
2017: $11M - Age 35
2018: $10M club option ($5M buyout) - Age 36
Total: $67M ($62 w/ buyout) over 5 years
Prince Fielder Remaining Contract (excluding bonuses)
2014: $24M - Age 30
2015: $24M - Age 31
2016: $24M - Age 32
2017: $24M - Age 33
2018: $24M - Age 34
2019: $24M - Age 35
2020: $24M - Age 36
Note: Tigers paying $30M
Total: $138 over 7 years
Essentially the Rangers just acquired age 30-36 Fielder for just under $20M a year while clearing room for top prospect 2B Jurickson Profar to compliment SS Elvis Andrus in the middle of their infield. Fielder will provide a much needed power boost and despite coming off a down year by his standards (125 wRC+) is only a year and two away from some monster 153 and 160 wRC+ seasons. Plus Texas figures to still have enough room to go after a big free agent like McCann who rumors have it is a top priority for the club.
From a Tigers standpoint they just freed up $76M in money to invest in other positions and/or extending Miguel Cabrera (FA after 2015) and Max Scherzer (FA after 2014) and while improving their defense with Cabrera moving to 1B. They can use highly regarded prospect Nick Castellanos at 3B or OF depending on whether they sign a 3B or OF off the free agent market. There are certainly a lot guys like Peralta, Drew, Granderson to name a few that may entice them and may not cost as much as a Beltran or Choo. Hell, they could even add one of those guys above plus Joe Nathan with the savings now. Kinsler may only have been about league average from the plate the past 2 years but he's still one of the better 2B in the game and the flexibility they gain with this trade is a huge plus for them.