Prince Fielder - Ian Kinsler trade: Dave Dombrowski, Brad Ausmus teleconference notes

USA TODAY Sports

In a late night teleconference call, the Tigers' GM and manager gave their thoughts on Prince Fielder, Ian Kinsler, how the huge trade went down, and where the team goes from here.

General manager Dave Dombrowski and manager Brad Ausmus took part in a teleconference call late Wednesday night to discuss the blockbuster trade of first baseman Prince Fielder for Texas Rangers' second baseman Ian Kinsler.

Dombrowski opens:

Kinsler gives us an everyday second baseman, good athleticism. We want to thank Prince, wish him nothing but the best.

How the trade went down:

Just over the last week, the general managers meetings, started to talk to clubs after Brad joining us and our organizational meetings with our major league scouts. Talked to a lot of different clubs. was going to follow up this week, which I did. Called Texas, just kicked this one around a bit, was talking to (Rangers' GM) Jon Daniels. Jon said that's interesting, we had talked about would this deal make sense for us.

Middle of the afternoon, touched base a couple times yesterday, first thing this morning, break for a few hours, came back for further conversations. Both clubs felt it made sense and we started talking about finances. Had to include some money, what would be the right amount? We're trying to create some financial flexibility for us, keeping our club competitive.

How Kinsler fits on the Tigers and the lineup fallout:

He'll hit at the top of the order, not necessarily first. He gives us flexibility at the first base / DH spot. I'm not sure what we're going to do as we sit here now today. Miguel can play third, Victor can play first. Eventually we see (Miguel) as a first baseman. We can move (Nick) Castellanos back into third base. Where does Hernan Perez fit into all this? All questions we need to approach ourselves.

Why the Rangers pulled the trigger on a trade:

From Texas' situation, they had two second baseman. They really had made it apparent to clubs they were more interested in trading Kinsler than (Jurickson) Profar, and they were looking for a power hitting middle of the lineup type bat. It did happen in the last two days.

What about owner Mike Ilitch?

A lot of stars, well paid stars. Mike Ilitch so generous with us. You can only be in a position where you have so many of those type players. Does it make it probable? I can't say that, but it does make us more flexible as we move forward.

Brad Ausmus on where Kinsler fits in the lineup:
it gives us another option at the top of the order, the first two spots. Whether it's Austin Jackson, Torii Hunter, Ian Kinsler; it'll be determined at a later date. it's not the be all, end all but it definitely gives us flexibility. it gives us a proven defensive and offensive second baseman with a lot of options.
Asumus on his second base  - shortstop combination:
The double play combination for this year looks to be Kinsler and (Jose) Iglesias most of the time. it gives us more time with Hernan Perez. We can leave him at Triple-A or add to what we have. it's great.  We'll discuss things internally at this time before we decide on our next moves.

Dombrowskl breaks the news to Fielder:

We had talked about our off season planning from a general perspective. I've had a lot of meetings scheduled, planned to gather more information and touch base with him later in the week. Just so happened I picked up the phone, (Cabrera) gave his blessing to the deal.

He (Fielder) had to waive that no trade. I called Scott Boras first.  As soon as I got home I called Scott about the situation. Scott said let me reach out to Prince. Prince, at that point, agreed. Some other steps that had to be taken. I didn't reach out to him until later ... When I called he did not answer and his voice mail message box was full so I texted him. He got back to me. I thanked him for the time here. He texted back and thanked me, appreciated his time here and wished us the best.
Replacing Fielder's production:
We have Victor (Martinez), Alex Avila, Andy Dirks, we'll have to see how the rest of the lineup shakes out. (Adding a left-handed hitter) is a possibility, we'll kind of evaluate our whole situation.
Looking back at Fielder's two seasons in Detroit:
He was an All-Star player for us for a couple years. He drove in 100 runs two years in a row. He played every day, played hard. We're thankful for what he did for us. I know he didn't have a real good postseason. He drove in 100 runs a couple years in a row and that's not easy to do ....It's a situation that it works well for us now and we're able to make the deal and create some flexibility. We'll look back (at Fielder's tenure) as a good time.
Dombrowski was asked if free agent Jhonny Peralta is back in the equation as a third baseman or whether Nick Castellanos might get a chance to play there:
I don't know, I'm not really sure about that

(Nick Castellanos) did continue to take ground balls at third base for us. He didn't play there. We have talked about the possibility of this happening and how would we handle it. We weren't anticipating it happening so quickly. He hadn't played third base that long either. I would think he could make the transition pretty quickly if that's what we decided to do, but we need to get a lot of people's feedback on that.
Moving Miguel Cabrera back to first base:
As far as Miguel's situation, we really haven't talked to him about going back to first base. We didn't see the immediate need at some point of his going over there to first base. the difficulty would be a situation where neither Prince nor Miguel liked to DH on a consistent basis. They are willing to go over for a day or two. If you're going forward with both of them on your club, neither wanted to DH, Prince at first and Miguel at third.

That's a conversation we will have with Miguel. Prince never expressed per se to me that he wanted to be traded. I talked to his agent about different things the last couple years but i never ad a specific request, "I want to be traded."
A possible fan backlash:
Not really. it's a situation where you have to be careful not to react in those type of scenarios from Prince's perspective

It was not a good postseason for him, but a lot of guys didn't have a good postseason from an offensive perspective. But you look at your own satiation and see what makes sense. I think this makes sense based upon the total situation.
On being "shocked" a deal went down:
I wouldn't use that word (shocked). You never know what's going to happen with any deal. If you don't have any money and you're a young guy, (he's) easier to move than others.
More on replacing Fielder's production:
Guys that drive in 100 runs that are left handed hitters, we already talked about how you replace those RBIs and the left-handed hitting aspect.
The future of Victor Martinez:
Before we had signed Prince we had the two of them in the middle of the order, Victor protecting Miguel and I think he's capable of doing that again -- that'll be up to Brad. He bounced back, he's a quality big league hitter. He's an important bat. We need a couple guys who can drive in runs in the middle of those lineups.
Ausmus - How replacing Fielder changes the lineup:
It changes the dynamic in the heart of the order. You put Kinsler's bat in the top of the lineup, that's an instant threat. It's pretty daunting from the first inning on you're sending two guys to the plate in front of Miguel Cabrera who not only have the ability to drive the ball, but have the ability to run.

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