#HUGWATCH rapidly went to three-alarm levels on Friday afternoon when the Tigers posted a lineup against the Blue Jays without his name in it. Stomachs were turned, tear ducts were properly filled, and Twitter was refreshed at an alarmingly frequent rate.
It was all for nothing. Ian Kinsler has not been traded. He simply has flu-like symptoms, manager Brad Ausmus told reporters during his afternoon session. Andrew Romine will play second base in his stead and bat eighth, while outfielder Alex Presley hits in the leadoff spot.
Speculation runs high that Kinsler will be dealt before the end of July, though he does have a limited no-trade clause that can block some destinations limiting the likelihood some. He’s been tabbed at No. 38 among the most-tradable players of this year’s deadline. However, that’s behind J.D. Martinez (No. 1), Justin Wilson (No. 6), Alex Avila (No. 12), and Justin Verlander (No. 25), and alongside Justin Upton.
Ashley MacLennan wrote in our trade preview:
“MLBTR notes contract concerns (the $15 million Kinsler will be owed if his 2018 option is picked up), whereas Fan Rag thinks the cost won’t be unreasonable to a team that wants him. Kinsler has started to pick up steam again over the last month and is just coming off a Gold Glove season. He would be an attractive prospect to a team in need of both offensive power and defensive skill.”
Kinsler batted .240/.323/.387 in the first half this year.