I’m not surprised that the Rangers moved Kinsler. His offensive numbers have been down the past couple of seasons and they want the highly touted Jurickson Profar to be the everyday second baseman.
But I am surprised that the Tigers moved Fielder. After all, less than two-years ago, Fielder signed a 9-year, $214 million contract. Well, so much for those long term deals. Since Texas has substantially increased its payroll, the Tigers will send the Rangers $30 million to help cover Fielder’s compensation.
While it’s true that Fielder hit a career low 25 home runs and struggled in the post-season, he did drive in 100 RBI for the sixth time in the past seven years. Fielder is also durable, having played in 505 consecutive games. O.K., so he won’t be threatening Cal Ripken, Jr. anytime soon, but Ron Washington can comfortably pencil in Fielder’s name in the lineup every day.
Nothing against Kinsler, but the Tigers should have asked Texas for more in giving up Fielder. Namely some help in the bullpen although free agent closer Joe Nathan, who pitched with the Rangers this season, might be Detroit bound anyway. Still, I wonder if Kinsler’s power numbers will decline further at Comerica Park.
I’m not sure if Miguel Cabrera would have won back to back AL MVPs without Prince Fielder providing him protection in the lineup. Don’t get me wrong. Victor Martinez has a great bat, but doesn’t have the power he once had.
No doubt the Tigers will be making other moves. But, as for this deal, I think the Rangers got the better of it. In fact, I think the Rangers will have a field day over this one. Or perhaps even a Fielder day.