As the Detroit Tigers continue with their aggressive rebuild, one of the more lucrative pieces of meat they’re dangling for other teams to trade for is Ian Kinsler. Who is willing to bite? The San Francisco Giants, Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Angels and New York Mets.
A 4-time All-Star and one-time Gold Glove winner, Kinsler is likely to attract plenty of attention in the coming weeks. He is 35, but has proven to be extremely durable, and has just one more year on his deal worth $11 million. For a terrific defensive second baseman (who can also play at third), who still has some power to show, this seems like a terrific bargain.
And the non-long term commitment factor of this deal seems to be very lucrative for teams that are interested in contending but don’t want to open their pockets too much. The Brewers are such a team. As we mentioned yesterday, they have plenty of salary room, ambition to win next season, and nothing too solid at second at the moment. Kinsler has been linked with them, but there’s nothing to concrete right now.
In the East Coast, the disappointed Mets might start leaning a bit more on their lineup instead of their oft-injured rotation. The Mets are one of the teams that have a strong need for a good player like Kinsler at second base, but with already more than $122 million as a projected salary, it might take some shedding of deals before the Mets make a move.
Out West, the Angels look like a very likely spot. They have the money to spend and a clear need to plug someone in second base. However, the Angels are probably looking into every possible second base option out there, via trade or free agency, so Kinsler might not be their number one option.
For the Giants, trying to put last season behind them, there’s more of a need in third base, although if Joe Panik is traded, things could become clearer. In any case, until the Giancarlo Stanton situation is cleared up, as it seems to be holding up everyone in free agency, we won’t see any major moves from teams in the picture for the Marlins slugger.
Kinsler has been in the majors since 2006, helping the Texas Rangers to a couple of World Series before joining the Tigers in 2014. He batted just .236 last season, his career worst (.273 career average), but did club 22 home runs in 139 games, and has 50 over the last couple of seasons.