Wednesday’s stunning trade is the kind that fans talk about, and then rarely see completed.
The news that Detroit had traded Prince Fielder to the Texas Rangers for Ian Kinsler was amazing in itself, but the speed of the deal and that no one speculated about it was astounding, too.
The Tigers want to keep Miguel Cabrera and Max Scherzer in Detroit for several more years. Scherzer is a free agent in a year, Cabrera has two more years.
When Fielder was signed two years ago, it was a stunner itself. He waited until late January to accept a nine-year, $214 million deal from the Tigers. They weren’t even linked with Fielder at the time.
In his first two seasons with Detroit, Fielder’s production has been fine, 55 home runs, 214 RBIs and a .295 average with lots of walks.
His postseasons have been disappointing. This year, Fielder had no RBIs in 54 at-bats.
Cabrera readily agreed to move to third base to accommodate Fielder, but as he ages he’ll be better suited for first. While Fielder keeps himself in great shape; his consecutive games streak is the longest in baseball, concerns about his weight will be more prominent as he ages.
If this move enables the Tigers to keep Cabrera and Scherzer for the long term, it’s a win. They already have Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez tied up with lengthy deals, and as their GM Dave Dombrowski put it, even with an owner not afraid to spend money, there is a limit to how much can be spent.
Texas wanted to open second base up for Jurickson Profar, and Kinsler, a three-time All-Star can play there. They needed a power hitter, and the Tigers are sending $30 million along to help pay Fielder’s contract.
Kinsler will supplant Omar Infante at second for Detroit. It will be interesting to see if the Orioles have interest in him now that a major suitor is out of the picture.