When the initial wave of trade rumors involving the Tigers began, Ian Kinsler seemed like a logical bet to be moved. He has another year on his contract, he had a Gold Glove season in 2016, and he’s still one of the best defensive second basemen in the game.
Trouble is, there’s not a huge market for second basemen on contending teams, putting the need for Kinsler much lower than that of his other trade candidate teammates like Alex Avila (who doesn’t need a catcher with those numbers?) and Justin Wilson (almost every team in contention needs bullpen help). What’s more, Kinsler has a 10-team no trade clause that will make it even harder to move him.
Kinsler’s sluggish numbers offensively don’t help his case much either, hitting a mere .244/.326/.401 this season with a mere nine home runs, he’s definitely not the same guy he was last season. Many suspected these factors might mean Kinsler wouldn’t be going anywhere before the trade deadline, but it didn’t stop fans from panicking when he was unexpectedly out of the lineup in mid-July, for what turned out to be a flu.
Here’s an updated list of the Kinsler trade rumors.
7/25 — Milwaukee Brewers
According to Jon Morosi discussions between the Tigers and Brewers are ongoing for both Kinsler and Justin Wilson, though a trade is “not imminent.”
7/24 — Milwaukee Brewers (still)
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick suggests the Tigers might package Ian Kinsler and Justin Wilson as a way to get rid of Kinsler’s salary.
7/22 — Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney, are “digging in” on the idea of trading for Kinsler. With the Brewers hoping to hold their lead over the Cubs in the NL Central, might Kinsler’s bat an infield defense be just what they need?
Brewers current second baseman Jonathan Villar is having a pretty rough season, with a .223/.287/.350 line.
7/21 — Boston Red Sox
Ken Rosenthal — who has been forced to write on Facebook because Fox inexplicably decided to remove writing from their website — speculated that former Tigers’ general manager Dave Dombrowski might want to think outside the box when it comes to his third base problem.
With Pablo Sandoval gone, and the obvious replacement of Todd Frazier having been taken by the rival Yankees, the Red Sox need a quality infielder, and Rosenthal thinks Dombrowski might move Kinsler into that role.
“Kinsler, 35, would need to learn third base on the fly – he has played only two career innings at the position, back in 2012. He would risk embarrassment, face the usual Boston scrutiny. But I’m guessing a player as tough-minded and competitive as Kinsler would embrace the challenge.”
It should be noted this rumor has not come from any clubs, and is strictly from Rosenthal, but given Dombrowski’s former connection to the Tigers, his work in signing Kinsler originally, and the fact it would effectively get Kinsler off the sinking Tigers’ ship, it might be a win-win for all parties involved.
7/13 — Little interest
Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports indicated there’s very little current interest for Kinsler’s help at second base on contending teams.