MLB Trade Rumors: Rangers to deal Ian Kinsler?

Ronald Martinez

The Rangers have one too many infielders and they may be ready to deal Kinsler this offseason to make room for top prospect Jurickson Profar. Here is the fantasy impact.

Coming into the 2013 season, the Rangers asked second baseman Ian Kinsler to change his position, by moving over to first base or left field. Kinsler initially agreed to the position change, then balked and stayed at second base. The reason for the request was to make room for Jurickson Profar, allowing him to play every day at second base. Profar was more of a utility guy this season, playing shortstop, second base, third base, and even left field. But, the Rangers want him to play every day in 2014, apparently, as they are now willing to deal Kinsler.

According to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram, the Rangers may be ready to deal second baseman Ian Kinsler this offseason:

Profar was in the lineup often this season, but not every day as the Rangers’ super-utility man. Incumbents Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus continued to get the majority of the playing time, and rightfully so.

But the Rangers want Profar to play every day in 2014, at one position, and something is going to have to give to make that happen. Though Kinsler still has four years and $62 million remaining on his contract, if any Rangers player is going to be traded his off-season, it’s him.

The Rangers might have to eat as much as half of the money owed to their three-time All-Star to move him, and other teams in need of a second baseman might first try to get free agent Robinson Cano and Cincinnati’s Brandon Phillips, who is said to be available.

If Kinsler isn’t traded, the Rangers think they can get Profar regular at-bats with the same role he had in 2013. But the preferred route is regular at-bats at second base, one of several positions in flux as the Rangers reshape the roster the next few months.

I think a trade is inevitable for Kinsler. Or Profar, but I imagine teams won't be so ready to offer the Rangers the haul they are seeking in return for him. Kinsler, on the other hand, has a big contract and is older, but also more experienced, and a team that is playoff ready will certainly talk to the Rangers this offseason.

What teams may have interest in Kinsler? Here is a quick breakdown:

Yankees

If the Yankees decide not to meet Robinson Cano's contract demands, then Kinsler is a nice fall back option. They could offer one of their outfield prospects like Slade Heathcott or Tyler Austin in return for Kinsler.

Orioles

They need a second baseman and someone who can handle the leadoff spot, and Kinsler meets both requirements. Think of how many runs he would score hitting in front of Manny Machado, Adam Jones and Chris Davis in 2014.

Tigers

Rick Porcello for Ian Kinsler? Maybe not, but the Tigers need a second baseman with Omar Infante a free agent this offseason. Adding Kinsler would allow the Tigers to move outfielder Austin Jackson down in the order.

Royals

Why not right? They have had a merry go round of guys at second base over the last few seasons, and are a legitimate contender if they can continue to build their rotation. They also need a leadoff hitter to allow Alex Gordon to drop down in the lineup.

A deal would certainly improve Profar's ranking amongst fantasy second baseman in 2014. He is a much better hitter than was on display in 2013, and he would be hitting in a pretty good lineup and a hitter's park.

The fantasy impact on Kinsler depends on where he is traded. The best destinations for his fantasy value are with the Yankees and Orioles, while the Tigers is a good option as well. Actually, he could lead the majors in runs scored if he played with the Tigers.

What do Fake Teams readers think? This could be a win-win for the fantasy value for both Kinsler and Profar. What trade partner did I miss?

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