Prince Fielder Headed to Texas in Exchange for Ian Kinsler


Late Wednesday night, the Texas Rangers and the Detroit Tigers announced a blockbuster; Prince Fielder would be taking his talents to Arlington, with Ian Kinsler shipping up to Motor City.

Sep 30, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler hits a RBI single against the Tampa Bay Rays during the third inning at Rangers Ballpark at Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

With the Tigers looking to dump salary and fill a hole vacated by Omar Infante, and the Rangers wanting to find an upgrade over Mitch Moreland and a way to slide both Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar into the everyday lineup the two clubs seemed to match up quite well. Texas will also receive ~$30 million in the deal, helping to negate Fielder’s albatross of a contract, which will pay him ~$170 million over the next seven seasons.

Detroit looks to have saved around $70 million in the move, when you subtract the remainder of Kinsler’s $75 million extension from money saved. It’s obvious that the Tigers will probably move to lock up one or both of Miguel Cabrera or Max Scherzer, who are free agents after 2015 and 2014, respectively

I’m sure by this point, someone has said “well this is great and all but what’s it doing on a Boston Red Sox website?!” But, surprisingly it has a number of ramifications on Boston’s offseason plans.

Oct 16, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder (28) before the game four of the American League Championship Series at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Firstly, it takes both Detroit and Texas out of the running for a first baseman. Detroit will presumably shift Cabrera across the diamond and allow prospect, Nick Castellanos to take over at the hot corner. And in Texas, with their 168-million-dollar man at first for the next seven years, they don’t look to be pursuing much on the open market. Texas had been considered one of the top landing spots for Mike Napoli, provided he didn’t return to Boston, and now it seems like a more forgone conclusion than ever that Napoli will return to BeanTown. No disrespect to the Rockies, or any other suitors, but chances are that Napoli will want to play for a contending team, even if the thin air in Denver looks promising for that sweet swing.

Second, with Texas’ payroll now hamstrung to the tune of approximately ~$20 million per year, it is unlikely that they will pursue catcher Brian McCann. I’m not advocating that the Sox jump into the McCann sweepstakes, but it means that there is one less big market team to drive his value sky-high, and with that, other free agent catchers will probably be forced to look for less as well.

Thanks to Jon Daniels and Dave Dombrowski, the hot stove season has started with a bang.