Is Prince Fielder for Ian Kinsler a good trade?

Nick Laham

The Tigers have agreed to trade Prince Fielder to the Texas Rangers for Ian Kinsler. Is this a good trade for the Tigers?

The Tigers send Prince Fielder to the Texas Rangers for second baseman Ian Kinsler.  Is this a good trade for the Tigers?  Consider the following:

At the time of writing, Heyman says that there could be another player involved, or maybe some cash headed south, but the Fielder for Kinsler deal seems to be a go, with Fielder consenting to waive his no trade clause.

-  The Tigers desperately need a second baseman, while they have three potential first basemen, in Fielder, Miguel Cabrera, and Victor Martinez.  They have also just added Jordan Lennerton to the 40 man roster.

- Kinsler is an all star second baseman who hit .277    .344    .413   with a wOBA of  .334 last season.  For his 8 year career, he has hit .264    .341    .429 with a  wOBA of .351.

- Kinsler has been a plus base runner and a plus defender at second base.  However, he is 31 years old and is under contract through the 2017 season.

- Over the past two seasons, Fielder has contributed a WAR of 7.1, while Kinsler has a two year WAR of 5.5.  That's including offense, defense, and base running.

- Money wise, Fielder makes $ 24 million for another seven years.  Kinsler will make $ 16 million each of the next two seasons, then $ 14 million in 2016 and $ 11 million in 2017, with a $ 10 million club option or a $ 5 million buyout for 2018.  That's at least $ 62 million for the next five years.

- Of course, we don't know the impact of the finances on what the Tigers might or might not be able to do as a result of this trade.   I have previously written that the club would be pushing close to the luxury tax threshold if they only resigned Omar Infante and Joaquin Benoit at $ 8 million each.  Maybe this gives them some flexibility.  We don't know that.

- All indications are that inflation is sweeping major league baseball, so that the cost of Infante might have skyrocketed.  Jhonny Peralta reportedly told the Mets that he wanted $ 45 million for three years.  Should Infante ask for much less?

Much is not known about this trade, especially the financial implications of the deal.  But as far as on the field, let's figure that the Tigers can now move Cabrera back to his better position at first base.  They still need a third baseman.  Castellanos was said to be not ready when they moved him to the outfield.  Interesting dynamic there.

Will the Tigers then be able to sign another free agent outfielder, or maybe a third baseman?  Trade for Chase Headley?  Keep Cabrera at third and promote Lennerton?   The possibilities are endless.

One major factor could be the fact that the Tigers would like to extend Max Scherzer and Miguel Cabrera, but if payroll is close to being maxed out, they need to make some room, and Fielder seems like a large salary to target for that purpose.

But one thing we know is that Prince Fielder is gone and Ian Kinsler will be a Tiger.  Is this a good trade for the team?

More Roars


Prince traded! | Implications | You weigh in
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Essay: Jim Leyland’s legacy in Detroit
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