A shocking trade in the world of baseball Wednesday night — the Tigers sent Prince Fielder to the Rangers in exchange for Ian Kinsler.
Fielder is just 29 years old and despite his size is one of the most durable players in the league — he played in all 162 games in four of the past five seasons. His power seems to be a bit in decline, as he hit just 25 home runs this past season, down from a career high of 50 in 2007.
Still though, it is difficult to understand why the Tigers would give him up for Kinsler, a 31-year-old second baseman whose power decline is even more precipitous. Kinsler slugged 32 home runs in 2011; last season he hit just 13.
Obviously this is a salary dump by the Tigers. Prince Fielder is owed $168 million over the next seven years. But Kinsler is not cheap — he is due $62 million over the next four seasons, including a $5 million buyout of a fifth year. And the Tigers are likely to include some cash in the deal. (UPDATE: Reports say $30 million will go to Texas).
There was talk that a cash crunch could force the Tigers could trade Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer this off-season, but now that does not appear necessary.
The trade is a win-win for the Rangers. Not only do they get one of the top power hitters in the game in Fielder, but they get rid of Kinsler to free up a spot for super-prospect Jurickson Profar.
This is a great trade for the Rangers. For the Tigers, not so much.